A rain-affected round of 64 at the 2023 Italian Open is nearing completion after several matches were delayed until Sunday,
On Friday, Novak Djokovic got his campaign underway with a steady but far-from-perfect performance against Tomas Martin Etcheverry. Third seed Casper Ruud made short work of Arthur Rinderknech.
There were also impressive wins for qualifiers Alexei Popyrin and Roman Safiullin, who saw off 10th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime and 22nd seed Sebastian Korda, respectively. However, only one can emerge in the last sixteen as they face off against each other in the third round.
Fabio Fognini also backed up his win against Andy Murray by removing the seeded Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3 7-6(6).
On Saturday, the rain wreaked havoc with the schedule, with several matches unable to be completed and even more postponed until Sunday without even starting.
Of those lucky enough to finish their matches, Carlos Alcaraz came from a breakdown in the first set to dispatch Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-4 6-1, while Andrey Rublev made light work of Alex Molcan with a 6-3 6-4 win.
On Sunday, Daniil Medvedev won his first match in Rome 6-4, 6-2 over Emil Ruusuvuori. At the same time, Stefanos Tsitsipas didn’t take long to finish his match against Nuno Borges, which he led by a set and a break overnight.
Qualifier Yannick Hanfmann was responsible for the highest seed to fall in the second round, with an impressive 6-4 6-1 over Taylor Fritz.
You can see the complete list of second-round results below.
Round of 64 Italian Open 2023 Results
Novak Djokovic (1)
Tomas Martin Etcheverry
Carlos Alcaraz (2)
Daniil Medvedev (3)
Casper Ruud (4)
Stefanos Tsitsipas (5)
Andrey Rublev (6)
Holger Rune (7)
Arthur Fils (Q)
Jannik Sinner (8)
Thanasi Kokkinakis (Q)
Yannick Hanfmann (Q)
Taylor Fritz (9)
Alexei Popyrin (Q)
Felix Auger-Aliassime (10)
6-4 4-6 7-5
Karen Khachanov (11)
4-6 6-4 7-6(4)
Frances Tiafoe (12)
Daniel Altmaier (Q)
3-6 7-5 6-3
Cameron Norrie (13)
Alexandre Muller (Q)
Hubert Hurkacz (14)
Borna Coric (15)
4-6 7-6(8) 7-6(5)
Tommy Paul (16)
4-6 6-3 6-4
Alex de Minaur (17)
Lorenzo Musetti (18)
Matteo Arnaldi (W)
Alexander Zverev (19)
5-7 6-3 6-4
Roberto Carballes Baena
Daniel Evans (20)
7-6(5) 5-7 6-4
Roberto Bautista Agut (21)
Roman Safiullin (Q)
Sebastian Korda (22)
Botic van de Zandschulp (23)
Francisco Cerundolo (24)
4-6 6-2 6-3
Yoshihito Nishioka (25)
Grigor Dimitrov (26)
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (27)
Guido Pella (PR)
Ben Shelton (28)
6-4 1-6 6-2
Fabio Fognini (WC)
Miomir Kecmanovic (30
Bernabe Zapata Miralles (31)
Fabian Marozsan (Q)
Jiri Lehecka (32)
4-6 6-1 7-6(4)
Alexander Shevchenko (LL)
Djokovic Makes Winning Return
Novak Djokovic’s Rome campaign is up and running. While it wasn’t vintage against Tomas Martin Etcheverry, the six-time Rome Masters champion played well in patches and extended the rallies when needed en route to a 7-6(5), 6-2 victory.
Djokovic has been struggling with an elbow problem, and while he appears to have shrugged that off, he looked to be dealing with some sickness during the match, hunching over a couple of times and taking some form of medication at a changeover.
Still not the desired level, still finding the shots and finding that groove on the court. It’s always a little bit tricky playing someone for the first time. He’s a clay-court specialist. He started better than I did, I started pretty slow, but I found my groove towards the end of the first. The second set was good, especially the last three or four games. I’m happy with the way I closed out the match. Djokovic on his opening win in Rome.
Popyrin Pops Off Auger-Aliassime
Alexei Popyrin entered Rome as a qualifier, but he’s yet to lose to anyone in the top 10 this season, improving to 3-0 with a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 over 10th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime.
The Canadian is so far winless in the two clay court events he’s played, and although he fired 38 winners, it was Popyrin who played well at the business end with some big hitting of his own to break in the 11th game of the final set.
Dimitrov Downs Wawrinka
Grigor Dimitrov will face Novak Djokovic in the third round thanks to a 6-4, 7-6(3) over Stan Wawrinka.
It was a solid performance from the Bulgarian, who used a come-forward approach, and he’s now just one behind in the H2H, which stands at 6-7 in favour of Wawrinka.
While Grigor played well, Stan has second-round syndrome, and he can’t seem to win back-to-back matches or play well for two on the spin. He made far too many soft errors against Dimitrov, and I’d hoped to see him put together a decent run at one of the pre-French Open tournaments.
I’m just happy I was able to finish in straight sets. Overall, I felt good. It’s been a while since I’ve played matches like that. Off the blocks to play Stan is never easy. We’ve played so many times against each other; we know what we are going to do in a lot of moments. I think today was a very small margin. Dimitrov on his win over Wawrinka.
Other Matches Of Note
Sinner Sinks Kokkinakis: A rock-solid performance from Sinner as he bypassed Kokinakkis 6-1, 6-4 in 78 minutes. Zero break points faced by the Italian.
Barrere Cracks Khachanov: A surprise loss for Karen Khachanov, who has been a consistent performer this season, but Barrere played smartly to win through 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4). Perhaps the Russian wants to focus on doubles? 😁
Norrie Notches Win: A decent win for Norrie against Alexander Muller as the Brit has not done too well on European clay after winning the title in Rio before Indian Wells.
Ruud Rolls Rinderknech: A 6-4, 6-0 win for the Norwegian who likes the conditions and has two previous Rome semi-finals on his resume.
Rune Flies Past Fils: A solid maiden win in Rome for Rune as he cruised past Arthur Fils 6-3, 6-3. He plays Fognini in the third round.
Rublev Rocks Molcan: The Russian used the slow, damp, heavy conditions to his favour to come through 6-3, 6-4.
Hanfmann Halts Fritz: A big win for the German qualifier, who has always been capable of playing some decent ball on clay.
Italian Open Round of 32 Matches
Novak Djokovic (1) def Grigor Dimitrov (26) 6-3 4-6 6-1
Marton Fucsovics vs Cameron Norrie (13)
Alexei Popyrin (Q) def Roman Safiullin (Q) 7-5 7-5
Holger Rune (7) def. Fabio Fognini (WC) 6-4 6-2
Casper Ruud (4) vs Alexander Bublik
Laslo Djere def. Cristian Garin 6-3 2-1 RET
Francisco Cerundolo (24) def. Gregoire Barrere 6-7(0) 6-2 6-2
Alexander Shevchenko (LL) vs Jannik Sinner (8)
Andrey Rublev (6) vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (27)
Marco Cecchinato vs Yannick Hanfmann (Q)
J.J. Wolf vs Alexander Xverev (19)
Bernape Zapata Miralles (31) vs Daniil Medvedev (3)
Stefanos Tsitsipas (4) vs Lorenzo Sonego
Lorenzo Musetti (18) vs Frances Tiafoe (12)
Borna Coric (15) vs Roberto Carballes Baena
Fabian Marosan (Q) vs Carlos Alcaraz (2)
Has anyone stood out for you so far? Let me know in the comments.