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Monfils Cruises In Rome Opener; Tomic Sets Djokovic Clash

Rome, Italy

Wawrinka© Getty ImagesFormer finalist Stanislas Wawrinka set a clash with Janko Tipsarevic.

French No. 13 seed Gael Monfils made light work of his opening match at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Monday in Rome, dismissing Alex Bogomolov Jr., 6-4, 6-1. Monfils converted five of his 14 break point chances and won 70 per cent of points on his first serve for victory in 79 minutes.

The 25-year-old Monfils is coming off a third-round showing (l. to Berdych) in Madrid, where he was playing his first tournament in over a month. The right-hander improved to a 14-5 match record on the season, highlighted by two runner-up showings in Doha (l. to Tsonga) and Montpellier (l. to Berdych).

Australian Bernard Tomic set a second-round clash with defending champion Novak Djokovic after edging Colombian qualifier Santiago Giraldo 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in a two-hour contest. The 19-year-old Tomic, who lost to Djokovic in the 2011 Wimbledon quarter-finals, is making his debut at the Foro Italico.

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World No. 4 Andy Murray will open his campaign against David Nalbandian after the Argentine overcame Spanish qualifier Albert Ramos 6-3, 6-4. Former World No. 3 Nalbandian has reached two clay-court semi-finals this season in Buenos Aires (l. to Ferrer) and Belgrade (l. to Seppi) and improved to a 14-9 match record.

Stanislas Wawrinka will face eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic in the second round after edging Dutch qualifier Robin Haase 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 in two hours and 15 minutes. The Swiss No. 2 reached the final of this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court tournament in 2008 (l. to Djokovic).

Italian wild card Fabio Fognini prevailed in increasingly blustery conditions, breaking serve five times as he defeated Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-2, 6-2 in 75 minutes. The 24-year-old Sanremo native recently reached his first ATP World Tour final in Bucharest (l. to Simon).

Fernando Verdasco was granted a place in the second round when his opponent, Alexandr Dolgopolov of the Ukraine, was forced to retire with intestinal pain after losing the first set 6-0. The Spanish left-hander goes onto face countryman and sixth seed David Ferrer.

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