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Dimitrov Passes Opening Test

Rome, Italy

Dimitrov 2© Getty ImagesGrigor Dimitrov battled past Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

World No. 14 Grigor Dimitrov was given a stern test in his Internazionali BNL d’Italia opener on Monday in Rome, coming from behind to beat Edouard Roger-Vasselin 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. The Bulgarian earned the crucial break at 4-4 in the decider and served out victory in just over two hours.

The 22-year-old Dimitrov earned his 23rd win of the season, highlighted by winning his first ATP World Tour 500 title in Acapulco (d. Anderson) and his first clay-court crown in Bucharest (d. Rosol).

“The first couple of matches are always tricky, as you have to adjust to the different conditions,” said Dimitrov.

“This time it was Madrid’s altitude to the speed of the Rome courts. As much as I’d like to say I became accustomed to the court, I was flat in the first set and didn’t execute my chances. I had to fight, but in the third set I rose a level. My racquet was slipping out of my hand at times, but I found a way around it.”

Dimitrov goes on to face Ivo Karlovic, who prevailed against Spanish qualifier Pablo Carreno Busta 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) in two hours. Karlovic edged Dimitrov in two tie-break sets in their one previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting last year in Zagreb.

Marcel Granollers set a second-round clash with seventh seed Andy Murray after beating Madrid quarter-finalist and fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 7-5, 6-1. Meanwhile, countryman Pere Riba will confront No. 3 seed Stanislas Wawrinka after closing out a 7-6(3), 6-3 victory over Italian wild card Paolo Lorenzi.

Wild card Simone Bolelli needed two hours and 21 minutes to win an all-Italian opener against qualifier Stefano Travaglia, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(5). Bolelli, a former World No. 36 who is currently No. 162 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, next meets eighth seed Milos Raonic.

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