Britain’s Aljaz Bedene will meet Novak Djokovic in the second round of the Rome Masters after a hard-fought victory over Italian wildcard Gianluca Mager, who was forced to retire injured.
Mager, ranked No 363, took the first set on a tiebreak before breaking Bedene’s opening service game of the second set only for Bedene to fight back and take the set 6-4.
Bedene, ranked No 55, came out on top after Mager was forced to retire in the third set from cramping which also affected the Italian in the latter stages of the second set.
Elsewhere, there were victories for Czech Tomas Berdych, who overcame strong resistance from Germany’s Mischa Zverev and David Goffin who came back from behind to defeat Thomaz Bellucci in three sets.
World No 10 Goffin will meet Spain’s Fernando Verdasco, who enjoyed a comfortable victory over America’s Donald Young on Sunday.
The biggest surprise of the day came when big-serving Sam Querrey knocked out France’s impressive Lucas Pouille, the world No 16, in two tight tiebreaks.
Australia’s Bernard Tomic was the other major casualty of day two after losing in three sets to Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany. Viktor Troicki of Serbia secured a straightforward victory over wildcard Stefano Napolitano.
Fellow Brit Kyle Edmund will face Portugal’s Joao Sousa later today looking to follow the Slovenia-born British No 3 in the next round.
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