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Gasquet, Dimitrov Set Rome Clash; Istomin Tops Isner

Rome, Italy

Dimitrov© Getty ImagesGrigor Dimitrov set a second-round clash with Richard Gasquet in Rome.

Ninth seed Richard Gasquet will clash with Grigor Dimitrov in the second round of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome after both came through their openers on Sunday.

Gasquet bounced back from an opening-round loss at the Mutua Madrid Open by defeating Sam Querrey 6-2, 7-6(8) in 90 minutes, saving all three break points he faced. Gasquet improved to 24-7 on the season, highlighted by triumphs at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha (d. Davydenko) and Open Sud de France in Montpellier (d. Paire), as well as a semi-final appearance at the Sony Open Tennis in Miami (l. to Murray). 

The Frenchman’s best showing in Rome came two years ago, when he ousted Roger Federer and Tomas Berdych en route to the semi-finals. The 26 year old will carry a 3-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head lead when he takes on Dimitrov.

The Bulgarian beat Marcos Baghdatis 6-3, 6-4, breaking the Cypriot once in each set to claim victory in 66 minutes. Dimitrov is coming off a third-round performance in Madrid, where he stunned Novak Djokovic in three sets to post his first win against a World No. 1.

Denis Istomin caused an upset, rallying past this year's US Men's Clay Court Championship titlist John Isner 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-3 in two hours and 11 minutes to set up a second-round match against the sixth-seeded Berdych. Istomin, who hit eight aces past Isner, has lost his two previous meetings with the Czech.

Marcel Granollers booked a meeting with third seed Andy Murray after defeating Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-4. Granollers is looking to win back-to-back matches for the first time since opening the season by reaching the quarter-finals at the Apia International Sydney (l. to Seppi).

Alexandr Dolgopolov recorded his first Rome win in three appearances with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over first-time ATP World Tour Masters 1000 debutant Matteo Viola in 64 minutes. He will next meet No. 15 seed Stanislas Wawrinka or a qualifier.

Kevin Anderson was also victorious in first-round action, as he dismissed Jurgen Melzer 6-1, 6-2 in 73 minutes. Anderson won 56 per cent of his return points to break the Austrian five times.

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