TENNIS

Italian Open: Vinci bids farewell to professional tennis, Djokovic wins in straight sets

Vinci, 35, reached the US Open final in 2010 and won ten singles title in her career spanning nearly two decades.

Novak Djokovic eased into the second round of the ATP Italian Open in Rome on Monday as Italy’s Roberta Vinci bowed out of her final WTA tournament with a first round defeat.

Former US Open finalist Vinci fell 2-6, 6-0, 6-3 to Serbian qualifier Aleksandra Krunic on the red clay of the Foro Italico.

The 35-year-old reached the US Open final in 2010 and won ten singles title in her career spanning nearly two decades.

Djokovic, who has reached eight of the last ten finals in Rome and won four – took 55 minutes to oust Dolgopolov 6-1, 6-3 on the red clay of the Foro Italico.

Former world number one Djokovic has slipped six places to 18th after his second round defeat in Madrid, his lowest ranking since October 2006.

The 12-time Grand Slam winner broke 54th-ranked Dolgopolov three times in the opening set, with another break in the second helping him wrap up the match.

Djokovic, who last won in Rome in 2015, next plays either Nikoloz Basilashvili or Filippo Baldi two qualifiers before a potential third round meeting with American eighth seed John Isner.

Nishikori battles past Lopez

Nishikori – who had lost his two matches on clay in Spain in the previous two weeks – needed 1hr 48min to hand Spaniard Feliciano Lopez his sixth defeat in seven trips to the Italian capital 7-6 (7/5), 6-4.

“It wasn’t easy match. It was windy so conditions were tough for both of us,” said 24th-ranked Nishikori, who hit 18 winners to counter the seven aces fired down by Lopez.

Nishikori arrived in Rome after losing his two matches on clay in Spain – retiring in Barcelona due to a recurring wrist injury problem before losing his opening-round in Madrid to Novak Djokovic.

“He used a lot of slice and great serves, but I think I handled his slice well,” continued Nishikori who won his last title in Memphis in February 2016.

“The first set could have gone both ways, luckily I got it and after that, I was more confident and I was playing better tennis.”

Nishikori took a one-set lead after a first set-tiebreak that featured nine mini-breaks.

The pair exchanged serves in the second set before 2016 semi-finalist Nishikori broke again and served out to love to book his place in the second-round where he meets third seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria.

Robin Haase of the Netherlands needed three sets to get past Russian Daniil Medvedev 3-6, 6-4, 6-,1 with ninth seed Davis Goffin of Belgium seeing off Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer 6-1, 6-2.

In the women’s event, Japan’s Naomi Osaka powered her way past former world number one Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-0, 6-3 to set up a meeting with top seed Simona Halep of Romania.

American Madison Keys, seeded 13th, beat Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-1, with Britain’s Johanna Konta easing past Slovak 17th-seed Magdalena Rybarikova 6-4, 6-3.

Results

Women, 1st Round

Naomi Osaka (JPN) bt Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 6-0, 6-3

Donna Vekic (CRO) bt Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) 6-1, 6-2

Madison Keys (USA x13) bt Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 6-4, 6-1

Kaia Kanepi (EST) bt Camilla Rosatello (ITA) 6-1, 6-2

Johanna Konta (GBR) bt Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK x17) 6-4, 6-3

Petra Martic (CRO) bat Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 6-1, 6-2

Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) bt Roberta Vinci (ITA) 2-6, 6-0, 6-3

Men, 1st Round

Novak Djokovic (SRB x11) bt Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) 6-1, 6-3

Robin Haase (NED) bt Daniil Medvedev (RUS) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1

Kei Nishikori (JPN) bt Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 7-6 (7/5), 6-4

Aljaz Bedene (SLO) bt Gilles Muller (LUX) 6-4, 6-4

Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP x10) bt Jared Donaldson (USA) 6-4, 3-6, 6-0

David Goffin (BEL x9) bt Leonardo Mayer (ARG) 6-1, 6-2

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