So the clay court season continues onto Rome where the Italian Open is held. Many top quality players are in the tournament for both men and women. Unfortunately, Kei Nishikori is not in the draw stemming from the back spasms suffered in Madrid which cost him the title over Rafael Nadal. Pretty much all of the other big names are in the draw.
- In what was probably the most intriguing match of the first round, Jo Wily beat Dolgopolov 6-3; 7-6 (7-5).
- Jurgen Melzer defeated John Isner in straight sets.
- Grigor Dimitrov barely scraped by in three sets, after losing the first two.
- 4 Italians have already lost, including Fabio Fognini, who was seeded 13th. He lost to Lukas Rosol.
- Tommy Haas and Radek Stepanek defeated John Isner and Scott Lipsky in the first round of doubles. I guess Johnny boy didn’t really care much for winning in Rome this year.
- Italians Marco Checchinato and Andrea Seppi lost to Jurgen Melzer and Kevin Anderson. Fognini and another Italian, Simone Bolelli, are also playing doubles and have not competed yet. Rosol and Dimitrov are also in the doubles draw, which is an interesting team to watch.
- 12th seeded Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone won their matches (with Schiavone beating the 14th seed). Romina Oprandi and Karin Knapp (also Italian) lost.
- In a battle of Russians, Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated fan favorite Maria Kirilenko.
- In a battle of Americans, Madison Keys defeated Alison Riske. Keys is only 19 years old and has a lot of potential.
- Speaking of which, Sloane Stephens won in a tough three set match. She is only 10-9 on the season so far.
- Unseeded (yes) Venus Williams advanced easily. She is quietly 13-5 on the season.
- The best match on the ladies side was probably Lisicki vs. Stosur, with Stosur coming in unseeded. Sabine is still only 24 and has all the potential in the world, but just isn’t consistently where she needs to be to get into the Top 10 or 5. When she is at her best, she can beat anyone, but when she isn’t, she is likely to lose..especially to a veteran like Stosur.