This content was published 3 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.
An exciting Monday featured plenty fun matches on the ATP side of these Internazionali BNL d’Italia. Local flag flew high with four wins out of five encounters featuring Italians, two of those being almost unpredictable surprises.
On the first match on Grand Stand Arena, home players found their first success as Stefano Travaglia played a solid match to defeat Benoit Paire in straight sets. Only one break decided the first one, when in the seventh game the Frenchman tried a very difficult volley on break point down, but it landed out. Travaglia had to save a break point himself in the next game, but held and eventually took the set.
The Italian rapidly fell 2-0 behind at the start of the second set, but he managed to find his groove and quickly turn the momentum again to his favour. Paire lost his patience and the match slipped away from his hands, even leaving the court after taking a snap of a mark he had complained about with the umpire. 6-4 6-3 the final score for Travaglia.
Not quite the same outcome for the second local on court on the day, as Fabio Fognini surrendered to Kei Nishikori in a little less than an hour and a half with the score of 6-3 6-4. The Japanese player was the most solid throughout the match and weathered the storms of his opponent with calmness and precision. The Italian played some of the most exquisite points, but also lost his temper at times, including a racket smash late in the first set.
Three more Italians played on the day. If Jannik Sinner was favourite coming into his match and his win over Ugo Humbert looked comfortable, same could not be said for Gianluca Mager who marked the biggest surprise of the day to upset Alex De Minaur. The world number 90, who was given a Wild Card for the main draw, played a flawless match to keep the Aussie guessing where his controlled aggression would go. The 6-4 6-3 victory meant the first ever success for him in Rome.
Last year’s revelation Lorenzo Musetti also advanced to the second round, though his win came from the retirement of Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz, when trailing 6-4 2-0.
Taylor Fritz shocked Daniel Evans in two sets to earn a second round against Novak Djokovic, while Marton Fucsovics handled lucky loser Yoshihito Nishioka in less than an hour. Same fate also for another last-minute entry to the main draw, Aljaz Bedene, who lost in straight sets to Jan-Lennard Struff.
In one of the most anticipated matches of the day, 2021 revelation Aslan Karatsev battled past Miomir Kecmanovic 7-6(2) 6-4. Despite only one break making the difference, the Russian looked in great control and his next match against compatriot Daniil Medvedev is among the ones to watch.
Hugo Dellien made history for his country by becoming the first Bolivian to win a match at the Internazionali since Mario Martinez in 1982. After a strong showing in the qualifications, the 27-year-old came back from a set behind to surprise Adrian Mannarino 2-6 7-5 6-2. Another two South Americans advanced to the second round as Cristian Garin continued his great form and defeated Lloyd George Harris in straight sets, while Federico Delbonis needed three sets to get past Karen Kachanov.
A quality battled wrapped up the program of the day with Marin Cilic having the better of Alexander Bublik 4-6 6-2 6-3.