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Melzer Upsets Isner In Rome Opener

Rome, Italy

Isner© Getty ImagesJurgen Melzer upset ninth seed John Isner.

Former World No. 8 Jurgen Melzer claimed a significant win in his comeback from injury as he upset ninth seed John Isner 7-6(6), 6-3 on Sunday in the first round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.

The Austrian was sidelined at the start of the season due to a shoulder injury, returning last month in Monte-Carlo, and claimed just his fourth win of the year as he withstood 13 aces and saved seven of eight break points to beat Isner in 87 minutes. 

Spanish No. 16 seed Tommy Robredo made a winning start, defeating Juan Monaco of Argentina 7-6(3), 6-4 in one hour and 33 minutes. Robredo has reached the Rome quarter-finals three times before and earned his 15th win of the season.

Robredo goes on to face Philipp Kohlschreiber, who inflicted a sixth successive opening-round defeat on last year’s Wimbledon semi-finalist, Jerzy Janowicz, beating the Pole 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-2 in two hours and 19 minutes. 

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World No. 2 Novak Djokovic will open his campaign against Radek Stepanek after the Czech fought back from a set down to beat Pablo Andujar 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 35 minutes. The 35-year-old Stepanek will hope to overturn a 1-9 FedEx ATP Head2Head deficit against Djokovic, who is looking for a successful return from the wrist injury that kept him out of this week’s Mutua Madrid Open.

Jeremy Chardy earned a second-round clash with fourth seed Roger Federer after beating Robin Haase 6-4, 6-4. The 32-year-old Federer finished runner-up at the Foro Italico last year and will look to win the title for the first time the week after he and wife, Mirka, welcomed their second set of twins – Leo and Lenny.

Fifth seed David Ferrer will face Mikhail Kukushkin in the second round after the Kazakhstani battled past Joao Sousa 6-3, 6-7(1), 6-3 in two hours and 31 minutes.

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