It's a one horse race really.
1. James Blake is out after the 1st round. Beaten by No. 112-ranked qualifier Victor Crivoi of Romania.
2. Rain ended the day.
Rome, Italy (Sports Network) - Tenth-seeded Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka was a first-round winner, while 14th-seeded American James Blake came up a loser Monday at the $3.645 million Italian Masters tennis event.
The 2008 Rome runner-up Wawrinka waltzed past Russian Igor Kunitsyn 6-3, 6-4, while a struggling Blake gave way to Romanian qualifier Victor Crivoi 7-5, 6-2 on the red clay at Foro Italico. Wawrinka lost to Novak Djokovic in last year's finale here.
Blake is now 9-8 this season and has dropped his last three matches.
One other seed advanced on Day 1, as No. 15 Croat Marin Cilic drubbed wild card and Italian crowd favorite Flavio Cipolla 6-2, 6-2.
A match between 13th-seeded Spaniard Tommy Robredo and unseeded Russian Marat Safin was postponed until Tuesday because of rain.
Six matches were either suspended or postponed due to inclement weather on Monday. Russian Mikhail Youzhny was leading Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver 7-5, 5-4 and American Mardy Fish was tied with Russian Igor Andreev 3-3 in the first set when play was called for the day.
In some other completed action on Day 1, Serbian Viktor Troicki trounced Romanian Victor Hanescu 6-3, 6-3; Argentine qualifier Juan Monaco mauled German Nicolas Kiefer 6-2, 6-3; Belgian Christophe Rochus routed Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela 6-1, 6-2; Spaniard Albert Montanes got past Italian wild card Potito Starace 7-6 (10-8), 6-4; and 6-foot-10 Croat Ivo Karlovic overcame Czech qualifier Jan Hernych 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Sixteen first-round matches and a trio of second-round affairs are on Tuesday's schedule. Second-round action will come for the third-seeded and defending Rome champion Djokovic and fourth-seeded Miami Masters titlist Andy Murray, while a first-rounder will come for 11th-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer, last week's Barcelona runner-up to fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal. Djokovic will meet Montanes on Day 2, while the U.S. Open runner-up Murray will battle Monaco and Ferrer will encounter Paul-Henri Mathieu.
This week's top seeds are Nadal and former world No. 1 Roger Federer. The reigning Australian Open, Wimbledon, French Open and Olympic champion Nadal, who has won three of the last four titles in Rome, is fresh off his fifth straight Barcelona and fifth consecutive Monte-Carlo clay-court championships. Federer is a two-time Rome runner-up, including in 2006 against Nadal.
Federer will face Karlovic in the second round on Wednesday.
The 2009 Rome titlist will take home $565,000.
Last edited by Chimera; April 28th, 2009 at 03:34 AM.
i usually hate the Tennis Channel because of their ridiculous reruns, but they are carrying it live!!!!!!! i got to watch the Marat match this morning.
I've been bad.
Andy Murray defeated by Argentinian qualifier Juan Monaco.
Robredo and Cilic are through.
Rafa, Fed, Verdasco, Gonzales, Warwrinka, Simon, Del Potro and Stepanak are through.
i watched the Andy Murray match, i wasnt impressed at all.
i also see that Rafa is not taping his knees.
I've been bad.
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