Well it was a good week for Thomaz Bellucci last week, but the crowd favorite qualifier Italian Paolo Lorenzi ousted Bellucci in straights. Bellucci mentally did not deal well with the crowd and that was the difference here.
Feliciano Lopez continues his fine clay campaign this year with an easy win over Michael Llodra in a nice battle of net rushers on clay. Old man Ivan Ljubicic proves he can still play with a simple win over the Italian Flavio Cipolla.
Ljubo was able to play consistently and not allow the crowd into the match to support Cipolla. Unfortunately Ivo Karlovic had to retire from his match vs. fellow Croat Marin Cilic. Karlovic was up 4-2 in the first and lost 5 games on the trot before retiring at 0-1 in the second with a back injury.
Juan Ignacio Chela easily destroyed clay tourist John Isner 6-4 6-1 in a standard performance. Isner simply cannot move well enough on clay. But there was an American who won a match today, Sam Querrey, albeit by retirement.
It was a battle of 6'7''+ giants with Querrey and Kevin Anderson. Anderson had to retire also at 0-1 in the second, similar to Karlovic. 9th seeded Nicolas Almagro took on Simone Bolleli. Again the Italian crowd was fully in support of Bolelli.
Almagro did not let it bother him as he easily won 6-0 in the first. The second was more competitive, but Bolelli let the match go in the crucial moments, losing 7-5 in the second. Stan Wawrinka the 14th seed somehow defeated Fabio Fognini in the drama match of the day.
Neither play was in good form, and the errors were sometimes tough to watch. Wawrinka was average all match while Fognini's level fluctuated up and down the whole match. Volandri has a great shot to upset Wawrinka in the 2nd round.
In 2nd round action, the 16 seed Richard Gasquet destroyed Igor Andreev 6-1 6-2. Rarely do you see Gasquet winning matches this easily, he is having a decent clay season. At least Andreev is coming back ever so slightly, back into top 100.
Lucky Loser Jarkko Nieminen outfought Sergiy Stakhovsky in a classic 3 setter. Stakhovsky actually won more points than Nieminen despite losing! Tomas Berdych the 7 seed annihilated Juan Monaco, a former really good clay courter.
Berdych is now 5-0 against Monaco. In the later matches, Fernando Verdasco choked terribly, blowing match points after serving for the match with double faults and losing in the 3rd to Robing Soderling. Meanwhile, Andy Murray actually got himself a win on the dirt over Xavier Malisse in 3 sets.
Tuesday's Results: 1st round: (Q) Paolo Lorenzi def. Thomaz Bellucci 7-6(5) 6-3
Feliciano Lopez def. Michael Llodra 7-6(2) 6-1
Ivan Ljubicic def. (WC) Flavio Cipolla 6-2 6-3
Marin Cilic def. Ivo Karlovic 6-4 1-0 ret.
(9) Nicolas Almagro def.
(WC) Simone Bolelli 6-0, 7-5
(14) Stanislas Wawrinka def. (WC) Fabio Fognini 6-7(5) 6-2 6-4 2nd round: (16) Richard Gasquet def. (Q) Igor Andreev 6-1 6-2
(LL) Jarkko Nieminen def. Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-7(3) 6-3 6-4
(7) Tomas Berdych def.
Juan Monaco 6-2 6-2
(4) Andy Murray def. Xavier Malisse 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
(5) Robin Soderling def. Fernando Verdasco 2-6, 7-5, 6-4