The 2023 Italian Open is well underway, and all the round of 128 matches are complete.
The top thirty-two seeds got a bye, so there were no real upsets, but we still witnessed some exciting matches nonetheless.
Notably, home favourite Fabio Fognini put in a stellar performance to defeat Andy Murray in three sets. At the same time, former finalist Stan Wawrinka also delivered a solid showing, cruising past Ilya Ivashka 6-2 6-4.
Like Madrid last week, getting some matches under your belt in new conditions proved very useful as eight qualifiers progressed to the second round. Roman Safiullin was perhaps the most impressive, defeating Marcos Giron 6-4 6-3.
It was also an ok opening round for the home hopefuls, with four Italians making it into the round of 64.
You can see the full first-round results below.
Round of 128 Italian Open 2023 Results
Matteo Arnaldi (WC)
6-1 4-6 6-3
Stefano Napolitano (Q)
6-4 3-6 7-6(1)
Daniel Altmaier (Q)
Giulio Zeppieri (WC)
7-6(3) 4-6 6-0
Juan Pablo Varillas
Pedro Martinez (Q)
Roberto Carballes Baena
Hugo Dellien (PR)
Tomas Martin Etcheverry
Luca Van Assche
Arthur Fils (Q)
Juan Manuel Cerundolo (Q)
6-1 1-6 6-4
Fabio Fognini (WC)
6-4 4-6 6-4
6-4 3-6 7-6(5)
Luca Nardi (WC)
3-6 6-4 6-2
Yannick Hanfmann (Q)
Thanasi Kokkinakis (Q)
6-7(6) 6-4 6-2
Fabian Marozsan (Q)
6-0 6-7(8) 6-2
Alexandre Muller (Q)
Kyle Edmund (PR)
Guido Pella (PR)
Alexei Popyrin (Q)
Francesco Passaro (WC)
4-6 6-1 6-4
Flavio Cobolli (Q)
6-4 3-6 7-6(6)
Roman Safiullin (Q)
Jeremy Chardy (PR)
Hugo Grenier (LL)
3-6 6-3 6-3
Fognini Foils Murray
Andy Murray arrived in Rome off the back of winning the Aix en Provence Challenger Title and reaching his highest world ranking in five years, but he ran straight into Fabio Fognini, who pulled off a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 victory in front of a delighted home crowd.
Fognini has had an injury-riddled season so far, picking up just two match wins. However, on his day, he’s still one of the cleanest ball strikers on tour and has a very fluid game, especially on clay, whereas Murray has to work overtime for all of his points, proving the difference.
For sure, I’m happy because coming back from injury is never easy, especially at our age. But winning here in Rome against a really big player like Andy, I mean, I’m happy. Now it’s important to recover, and let’s see how I recover I wake up tomorrow because it’s going to be tricky and a nice question to my mind if I will recover well. But I just want to enjoy this night and go home with this victory. I was feeling really good at the beginning of the clay in Estoril, I was playing great. But I got injured, and I stopped like a month, I was 10 days with the crutches. These kinds of matches give me a lot of emotions and really good memories. Fognini on his victory over Murray.
Stan Starts Strong in Rome
Stan Wawrinka is a former Rome Masters 1000 finalist, and he made a solid start in this edition, defeating Ilya Ivashka 6-2 6-4 to set up a showdown with Grigor Dimitrov.
Stan has played some decent tennis so far this year but has just fallen short or ended up getting dragged into long matches when he has chances to close them up much sooner. No problems here, though, as he lost just six games and if the conditions stay as they are, he can be dangerous.
I was ready for it. I am playing well. It was a good first match and I am really happy to get through again. I have been working hard to get to this level. I am playing much better this year, but I need to win more matches. That is what I am missing a bit, the confidence to win more matches. But in general, the level is great. Wawrinka on his year so far.
Ruusuvuori Rescues Victory
Emil Ruusuvuori escaped the jaws of defeat, saving two match points against Ugo Humbert before prevailing 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(6).
The pair met in Madrid last week, with Ruusuvuori also coming through in two tie-break sets, but he had to dig much deeper in Rome, with both match points being on the Humbert serve at 4-5, 40/30 in the third set, then at 5/6 in the deciding tie-break. His reward is a tie with 3rd seed Daniil Medvedev.
Other Matches of Note
Sonego Sinks Chardy: The Italian celebrated his 28th birthday with a 6-2 6-1 victory over Jeremy Chardy.
Borges upsets Lajovic: Lajovic was one of the early front runners during this clay court swing, but he fell to Nuno Borges 6-4 6-1.
Goffin beats Nardi: A decent win for Goffin against the Italian wildcard. The former world number 7 has been short of wins and matches lately.
Round of 64 Matches
Novak Djokovic (1) vs Tomas Martin Etcheverry
Stan Wawrinka vs Grigor Dimitrov (26)
Alex de Minaur (17) vs Marton Fucsovics
Alexandre Muller (Q) vs Cameron Norrie (13)
Felix Auger-Aliassime (10) v Alexei Popyrin (Q)
Roman Safiullin (Q) vs Sebastian Korda (22)
Miomir Kecmanovic (30) vs Fabio Fognini (WC)
Arthur Fils (Q) vs Holger Rune (7)
Casper Ruud (4) vs Arthur Rinderknech
Alexander Bublik vs Ben Shelton (28)
Botic van de Zandschulp (23) vs Laslo Djere
Cristian Garin vs Tommy Paul (16)
Karen Khachanov (11) vs Gregoire Barrere
Yibing Wu vs Francisco Cerundolo (24)
Alexander Shevchenko (LL) vs Sebastian Baez
Thanasi Kokkinakis (Q) vs Jannik Sinner (8)
Andrey Rublev (6) vs Alex Molcan
Guido Pella (PR) vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (27)
Roberto Bautista Agut (21) vs Marco Cecchinato
Yannick Hanfmann (Q) vs Taylor Fritz (9)
Hubrt Hurkacz (13) vs J.J. Wolf
David Goffin vs Alexander Zverev (19)
Bernabe Zapata Miralles (31) vs Jason Kubler
Emil Ruusuvuori vs Daniil Medvedev (3)
Stefanos Tsitsipas (5) vs Nuno Borges
Lorenzo Sonego vs Yoshihito Nishiokia (25)
Lorenzo Musetti (18) vs Matteo Arnaldi (WC)
Daniel Altmaier (Q) vs Frances Tiafeo (12)
Borna Coric (15) vs Thiago Monteiro
Roberto Carballes Baena vs Daniel Evans (20)
Jiri Lehecka (32) vs Fabian Marozsan (Q)
Albert Ramos-Vinolas vs Carlos Alcaraz (1)
Which round two matches are you looking forward to? Any upsets you have earmarked? Let me know in the comments.