The US Open quarter-finalists Andrey Rublev and Denis Shapovalov are through to Rome's second round, making a nice transition towards the slowest surface. The 12th seed Denis Shapovalov took down Guido Pella 6-2, 6-3 in an hour and 25 minutes, securing the 35th Masters 1000 victory.
Denis lost 15 points in eight service games, fending off both break points and delivering four breaks to march over the finish line. Pella had miserable four winners and 28 unforced errors, never standing as a legit competitor in this one and finishing his journey in the first round.
Guido saved three break points in the first game before netting an easy forehand in game three to find himself 2-1 down. Shapovalov held at love to confirm the advantage, securing another break with a winner at the net in game seven and closing the opener after saving a break point a few minutes later.
The Argentine stayed in touch in the opening four games of the second set, spraying a forehand error at 2-2 to suffer a break and send the Canadian in front. Shapovalov saved a break chance with a service winner in the eighth game, moving over the top with a break at 15 in game nine that carried him through.
The 9th seed Andrey Rublev defeated a qualifier Facundo Bagnis 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 38 minutes, earning the 20th triumph of the season and 12th at the Masters 1000 level. Andrey lost serve twice in the opener while he was already in front, stealing the opponent's serve four times to move into the next round.
They had a similar number of unforced errors and Andrey added 25 winners to his tally, having the advantage in both the shortest and more extended rallies to cross the finish line first. The Russian forced an error from the Argentine in the first game to grab an early break, securing another one following a double fault from Bagnis in game three.
Denis Shapovalov and Andrey Rublev are through to the second round in Rome.
They traded breaks in the next three games (five of the first six games went to the returners) and Rublev sealed the opener with a hold at love in game ten for a 6-4.
From 40-15 lead in the seventh game of the second set, Bagnis suffered a break to push Rublev ahead, wasting four break chances in the next game and allowing Andrey to seal the deal with a drop shot winner at 5-4. John Millman prevailed against Joao Sousa 7-5, 7-6 in two hours and four minutes, taking the opener with a break in game 12 and coming back from 5-4 down in the second to seal the deal in the tie break.
Making the Masters 1000 debut, Dominik Koepfer ousted Alex de Minaur 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 in two hours and 33 minutes, fending off a match point at 3-5 in the final set, providing a late break and moving over the top in the tie break.