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Marco Cecchinato, Lorenzo Musetti, Giulio Zeppieri and Roberto Marcora flew the flag for Italy on day one of qualifying for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, the quartet all prevailing in their opening round matches.
Cecchinato, who reached the semi-finals at 2018 Roland Garros, needed over two hours to find a way past No.12 seed Egor Gerasimov 6-2 5-7 6-3 while Musetti, the 18-year-old world No.258, battled past Bernabe Zapata Miralles 7-6(2) 0-6 6-1.
Up next for Cecchinato is Bradley Kahn who ended Andreas Seppi’s hopes of a 15th appearance in the main draw at the Italian Open with a 6-2 4-6 7-6(1) victory, while wildcard Musetti will take on Leonardo Mayer, who dropped just five games in his straight sets triumph over Jacopo Berrettini, the younger brother of world No.8 Matteo.
There were also victories for Zeppieri over Cameron Norrie 6-3 6-1 and Marcora who defeated Filip Horansky 6-2 6-4. They will face Alessandro Giannessi’s conqueror Hugo Dellien and No.15 seed Corentin Moutet, who advanced when his opponent Roberto Carbaelles Baena retired in the second set, respectively in the second round of qualifying.
Spanish veteran Tommy Robredo fought back from a set down to defeat Gian Marco Moroni 1-6 6-3 6-4 and create a second round clash against Damir Dzumhur, who lost just two games as he eased past Fernando Verdasco.
Alexei Popyrin won the battle of the Australians, recording a 6-3 7-6(6) triumph over Luke Saville to set up a second round qualifying clash against top seed Tennys Sandgren.
Another Australian, Mark Polmans, got the better of former Roland Garros semi-finalist Ernests Gulbis in straight sets and will face No.11 seed Mikael Ymer in the next round after the Swedish player came back from a set down to defeat Marcos Giron 4-6 7-5 7-6(6).
Elias Ymer was unable to join his younger brother in the next round, the 24-year-old falling in three sets at the hands of Mikhail Kukushkin.
Also suffering first round qualifying defeats were Italian players Francesco Forti, who fell 6-4 6-0 to Pedro Martinez, Luciano Darderi, who was defeated 3-6 6-3 6-1 by Joao Sousa, Matteo Gigante, who lost out in a third set tiebreak against Ilya Ivashka, and Flavio Cobolli who succumbed to Dominik Koepfer 7-6(2) 0-6 6-1.
Qualifying continues on Sunday and main draw matches begin on Monday.