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Dimitrov, Tsonga, Fognini In Rome Action Monday

Rome, Italy

Dimitrov© Getty ImagesGrigor Dimitrov faces Edouard Roger-Vasselin in his opener.

FIRST-ROUND ACTION: Three of the world’s top 15 players – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Grigor Dimitrov and Fabio Fognini – headline the action on Day 2 in Rome. The in-form Dimitrov opens his account against Edouard Roger-Vasselin, with the pair meeting for the first time on the ATP World Tour. Home hope Fognini takes on Czech Lukas Rosol for the second time, with the Italian winning their only previous meeting at Roland Garros last year. Tsonga and Alexandr Dolgopolov meet for the sixth time in the pick of Monday’s match-ups, with the Ukrainian edging their FedEx H2H series 3-2. There are 11 singles and three doubles matches in total on today’s order of play.

CARRYING THE FLAG: Fognini will be hoping to bounce back today in front of his home crowd after a 1R exit to Dolgopolov in Madrid last week. The Italian No. 1 rose to a career-high No. 13 at the end of March after a successful few months, which saw him clinch the third title of his career in Vina del Mar (d. L Mayer in F). The 26 year old has a 3-6 career record in his home tournament, reaching the 2R three times. The last Italian winner here was Adriano Panatta in 1976 (d. Vilas)

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IN-FORM DIMITROV: The Bulgarian enters Rome after an impressive opening four months to the season. The 22 year old, who is the youngest player ranked inside the top 20, currently sits at a career-high No. 14 after recently capturing the third title of his career in Bucharest (d. Rosol). He returns to Rome for just the second time, having fallen in the 2R last year (l. Gasquet).

RANKING RISERS: Dolgopolov has climbed 36 places from No. 57 to No. 21 in the Emirates ATP Rankings this year. The Ukrainian will be looking to continue his push to return to the top 20 when he takes on Tsonga in Monday’s night session. The Ukrainian has been one of 2014’s standout players, reaching the final in Rio (l. to Nadal) and advancing to a further two SFs.

2014 MATCH-WIN LEADERS: Fognini, in action today against Rosol, features among the top six match-win leaders after the opening four months of the season. Here’s a look at this year’s win leaderboard:

Rank Player 2014 W-L Titles
1 Rafael Nadal 30-5 3
2 Roger Federer 28-5 1
T3 Kei Nishikori 27-5 2
T3 Marin Cilic 27-9 2
T5 Tomas Berdych 26-7 1
T5 Fabio Fognini 26-10 1

CENTRALE

[12] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) vs Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA)


FedEx Head 2 Head: First ATP World Tour meeting

Dimitrov is set to make his second appearance in Rome. He advanced to the 2R on his debut last year (l. to Gasquet). 
• Dimitrov broke the top 20 for the first time in February after a QF appearance at the Australian Open (l. to Nadal) and a title-winning run at the ATP 500 event in Acapulco (d. No. 18 Gulbis, No. 7 Murray and No. 21 Anderson). In April, the Bulgarian improved to a career-high No. 14 and captured his third career title in Bucharest (d. Rosol in F). 
• Dimitrov is just one of two players born in the 1990s to win multiple ATP World Tour titles – after Raonic, who has five titles to his name.
• At 22, Dimitrov is the youngest player in the top 20 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. 
• In 2013, Dimitrov improved his ranking for a sixth year in succession. He became the first Bulgarian to win an ATP World Tour event when he defeated Ferrer in the final of Stockholm.
Roger-Vasselin is making his Rome debut.
• Roger-Vasselin started the season strong, reaching the second ATP World Tour final of his career in Chennai (l. to Wawrinka). He also advanced to the 3R at the Australian Open (l. to Anderson in 5 sets) and the QF in both Montpellier (l. to Janowicz) and Marseille (l. to Tsonga). 
• Roger-Vasselin compiled his best season on Tour in 2013, breaking the top 50 for the first time on October 28. He finished the season at a year-end best No. 52 in singles and No. 17 in doubles, winning 23 singles and 34 doubles matches. 
• Roger-Vasselin’s father, Christophe, reached a career-high No. 29 in the ATP Rankings on August 1, 1983. In that same year he made a run to the SF at Roland Garros

[13] Fabio Fognini (ITA) vs Lukas Rosol (CZE)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Fognini leads 1-0

Fognini is making his seventh appearance in Rome. He has never advanced beyond the 2R here. 
• Fognini advanced to the final in Munich earlier this month (l. to Klizan). 
• Fognini reached the QF or better at his three events on Latin America’s “Golden Swing” in February. The Italian, who helped his country to success over Great Britain in Davis Cup at the start of April, clinched the third title of his career in Vina del Mar (d. L Mayer in F), while also advancing to the final in Buenos Aires (l. to Ferrer) and QF in Rio (l. to Dolgopolov).  
• Fognini enjoyed a standout year in 2013, becoming the first Italian to finish in the top 20 since 1978. His year was highlighted by back-to-back crowns in Stuttgart and Hamburg – the first titles of his career – in July. His best performances came on clay, where he posted a 28-10 record.
Rosol will be bidding for his first match win in Rome today after falling in the 1R on his debut in 2013 after advancing through qualifying (l. to Troicki). 
• Rosol’s best showing of the season came in Bucharest at the end of April when he reached the final before falling to Dimitrov. He also reached the QF in Dubai in February (l. to Federer). 
• The Czech finished 2013 in the top 50 for the first time after capturing his maiden ATP title.

Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) vs [11] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Dolgopolov leads 3-2

• This is Dolgopolov’s fourth outing in Rome. His lone win here came over Matteo Viola in the 1R last year (w/o vs. Wawrinka in 2R, l. to Djokovic in 3R).
• Dolgopolov has risen from No. 57 to 21 in the Emirates ATP Rankings after a successful opening four months to 2014. In February, the Ukrainian reached the final in Rio, posting three top 20 wins – Fabio Fognini, Nicolas Almagro and David Ferrer – before losing to Nadal. He advanced to the SF at the ATP 500 event in Acapulco (l. to Anderson) and at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells (l. to Federer). He also reached the QF in Miami (d. No. 3 Wawrinka, l. to Berdych). 
• At Indian Wells, Dolgopolov posted the biggest win of his career, defeating world No. 1 Rafael Nadal 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5). He became the first Ukrainian to beat the reigning world No. 1.
• Dolgopolov finished 2013 outside the top 50 for the first time since 2009. He reached one SF in Winston-Salem (l. to Monfils). 
Tsonga is making his seventh appearance in Rome. He has reached the QF here twice, in 2010 (l. to Ferrer) and 2012 (l. to Djokovic). 
• Tsonga is just two victories away from reaching a landmark 300 career wins. 
• Tsonga reached his lone final this season on home soil in Marseille in February (l. to Gulbis).
• At Indian Wells, Tsonga fell in his opening match to compatriot Benneteau, a result which saw him drop down to No. 11 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on March 17 – his first week outside the top 10 since August 29, 2011. 
• Tsonga finished 2013 in the top 10 for the third year in a row and for the fifth time in six years, reaching the QF or better 10 times. 

GRANDSTAND


Marcel Granollers (ESP) vs Feliciano Lopez (ESP)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Series tied 1-1

Granollers is appearing in the main draw in Rome for the fifth time. His best run came last year when he defeated then world No. 2 Andy Murray en route to the QF (l. to Paire). 
• Granollers opened his season in Chennai where he reached the SF (l. to Roger-Vasselin). He advanced to his seventh career final in Casablanca earlier this month, falling to Garcia-Lopez in the final. He has lost his opening match in nine of his 13 outings this season.  
• Granollers finished in the top 50 for the fourth year in a row, capturing his fourth career title in Kitzbuhel (d. Monaco). 
Lopez returns to Rome for the 11th time. His best showing came in 2010 when he reached the QF (l. to Gulbis). He has fallen in the 1R here seven times, including on his last two outings.  
• Lopez advanced to his second QF of the season in Madrid last week (l. to Nishikori). His win over world No. 16 Mikhail Youzhny in the 2R was his highest-ranked win of the year. He also reached the final eight in Delray Beach in February (l. to No. 142 Johnson). 
• Lopez finished 2013 ranked inside the top 50 for the seventh year in a row, highlighted by a first grass-court title at Eastbourne and third overall. He was one of six Spanish title winners in 2013.

[WC] Simone Bolelli (ITA) vs [Q] Stefano Travaglia (ITA)

FedEx Head 2 Head: First ATP World Tour meeting

Nicolas Mahut (FRA) vs [14] Mikhail Youzhny (RUS)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Youzhny leads 2-0 

Mahut returns to Rome for the first time since 2008. He reached the 2R in his only previous appearance in the Italian capital (l. to Robredo). 
• Mahut’s lone QF appearance of 2014 came in February in Marseille (l. to Gulbis). The 32 year old has fallen in the 1R in four of his five outings since reaching the final eight in the South of France.
• Mahut finished 2013 in the top 50 for just the second time in his career and first since 2007. 
• Mahut’s year was highlighted by his first two ATP singles titles in s-Hertogenbosch and Newport. As a qualifier ranked No. 240 in the world, the Frenchman captured the title in s-Hertogenbosch, defeating Stanislas Wawrinka in the final. He was the lowest ranked ATP winner since 2008 when No. 244 Kei Nishikori won Delray Beach. 
Youzhny is making his 11th visit to Rome. He has never reached the QF here. 
• Youzhny’s best showing of the season came in Dubai where he reached the QF before withdrawing with an illness. A back injury kept him out of action in the period between Dubai and Monte-Carlo, where he fell in the 1R on his return from injury (l. to Seppi). He also lost in his opening match in Bucharest (l. to Haase) and Munich (l. to Klizan) before advancing to the 2R last week in Madrid (l. to F Lopez). 
• The top Russian finished 2013 in the top 20 for the fifth time in his career and the first since 2010. His year was highlighted by two ATP titles in Gstaad (d. Haase) and Valencia (d. No. 3 Ferrer).

PIETRANGELI

[WC] Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) vs [Q] Pere Riba (ESP)


FedEx Head 2 Head: Lorenzi leads 2-0

Gilles Simon (FRA) vs [WC] Filippo Volandri (ITA)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Simon leads 3-0

COURT 1

[Q] Alejandro Gonzalez (COL) vs [Q] Stephane Robert (FRA)


FedEx Head 2 Head: First ATP World Tour meeting

COURT 2

Federico Delbonis (ARG) vs Ivan Dodig (CRO)


FedEx Head 2 Head: First ATP World Tour meeting

[Q] Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) vs Ivo Karlovic (CRO)

FedEx Head 2 Head: First ATP World Tour meeting

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