The last ATP 1000 Clay Masters has begun, and king of clay, Rafael Nadal is bidding to win the title for record eighth time. The fixture for the same consists of 4 lucky losers, all of whom lost in the R64; and 7 qualifiers, of which 3 have been knocked out in the R64, while Carlos Berlocq lost to Tomas Berdych in the R32. Qualifier Aljaz Bedene had to face Novak Djokovic. Remaining 2 are, Nicolas Almagro, who will face Rafael Nadal in the R32, and Jan-Lennard Struff who will face Sam Querrey in the R32.
Day 2 at Rome was a day for potential milestones. David Ferrer defeated his fellow compatriot, Feliciano Lopez in 3 sets, to record his 700th career win, becoming the 13th player in the Open Era to achieve this feat. Being a set down, the second set came fruitful, and he gained a hitting momentum in the decider. Also, Tomas Berdych’s victory over Carlos Berlocq recorded the Czech’s 600th career win. Berdych needed a break in the second set, which was easily offered by Harrison.
David Goffin, though struggled in the second set, being a set down already, smashed the fiery Bellucci, as he was down a set, and 1-3 in the second. Winning 5 consecutive games, brought his momentum back, and with the same zeal he defeated Fernando Verdasco in the R32 yesterday, in 3 sets. Marin Cilic had a comfortable win over the American Ryan Harrison, whereas the NextGen star, Alexander Zverev won in 3 sets, against the former world number 10, Kevin Anderson.
On the seeded side, Novak Djokovic played his first tournament without the coaching team by his side. The British number 3, Aljaz Bedene, played depth in the first, stretching it to a tie-break, which came in handy for the Serb. The second set was a controlled win for him, as he won in straight sets.
The defending champion, and the world number 1, Andy Murray, had to play the home hero, Fabio Fognini. The roaring crowd cheered out louder and louder for him, as he defeated Murray in straight sets. Murray lost his serve twice in the first, rewarding a comfortable lead to the Italian hero, as he didn’t lose a single service game. The second set followed suit, in a devastating display, and blistering brilliance. The world number 29 blew off the world number 1 in front of the home crowd, doing justice to their cheers.
Day 3 will see the King of clay on court, a much-anticipated match for the fans.