In a year full of surprises at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, the biggest one happened on the Campo Centrale today as Hungarian qualifier Fabian Marozsan took down Carlos Alcaraz in straight sets. This unpredictable loss was the prelude to a record that Spanish fans did not want to see as no player from their country made it to the round of 16 for the first time since 1994!
The opponent of Marozsan for a spot in the last 8 in Rome will be Borna Coric, who also contributed to the unfortunate day for Spaniards.
After a marathon match in his debut against Thiago Monteiro, including a saved match point, the Croat did not want to repeat the same experience against Roberto Carballes Baena today. In the first match of the day on court 12, the 15th seed started strong with a break advantage, but the Spaniard broke back when Coric tried to close the set. In the tiebreak, the Croat pulled away and after taking the first set, he did not drop his focus and quickly wrapped the match 7-6(3) 6-1.
Two more Spanish players fell today by the hands of compatriots Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev.
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina played his heart out in a quality match against Rublev, but missing three consecutive set points in the first set tiebreak was too much against an in-form player like Rublev. The sixth seed had troubles himself closing the tiebreak, but once he did, he maintained the momentum until the end to close 7-6(8) 6-3.
Rublev will now face German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann, who upset local fans with a great performance to take down Marco Cecchinato in three sets.
The last hope for Spain laid on Bernabe Zapata Miralles, opposed to third seed Medvedev. The Spaniard exploited his superior attitude towards clay to claim the first set, but on a loud Pietrangeli, Medvedev showed that his training is putting him at peace with the surface. The third seed started showing his impressive baseline game and turned things around for a solid 3-6 6-1 6-3 victory.