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Stan Wawrinka progressed to the third round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia after he came through a tough match against Benoit Paire 63 16 63. The unpredictable Frenchman had defeated Wawrinka in the second round in Madrid last week but the Swiss No. 1 was able to exact his revenge on Wednesday night at the Foro Italico.
Wawrinka’s increased intensity and better movement at the start of the deciding set put Paire under pressure and led to the No. 3 seed claiming an early break which the world No. 44 was unable to recover. The victory will be a huge confidence boost for Wawrinka, who has so far failed to find his feet on clay in 2017. He will face the big-serving John Isner in the next round.
Pablo Cuevas suffered a straight sets defeat at the hands of Dominic Thiem for the second time in five days when he was ousted by the No. 8 seed 76(4) 64. The Austrian had ended Cuevas’s hopes at the semifinal stage last week in Madrid and on Wednesday he dumped him out of Rome in the second round.
“It was very different, because I think the serve was more important in Madrid because of the altitude and everything,” said Thiem. “In Madrid I didn’t face a break point, and it was also way more difficult to break him.
“Today I got broken twice. I broke him three times. So I think today there were more longer rallies, and the game was decided more from the baseline.”
Sam Querrey awaits Thiem in the third round.