Rome - Local wild card Matteo Donati has made his ATP Tour debut a match to remember, rallying to upset 49th-ranked Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 on Sunday in the opening round of the Italian Open.
Ranked 275th, the 20-year-old Donati showed off an aggressive game, often dictating play from within the baseline to the approval of a vocal crowd inside the Foro Italico's main stadium.
Donati will next meet sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych.
Also, 15th-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa narrowly edged Florian Mayer of Germany 7-6 (3), 4-6, 7-6 (4).
Elsewhere on the red clay, Leonardo Mayer of Argentina eliminated another Italian wild card, Federico Gaio, 6-3, 6-4.
And Jeremy Chardy of France beat Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic 7-6 (0), 6-4 and will next face third-seeded Andy Murray.
Results from the first day of the ATP and WTA Italian Open on Sunday (x denotes seeded player):
Nicolas Almagro (ESP) bt Luca Vanni (ITA) 6-4, 6-3
Jiri Vesely (CZE) bt Ernests Gulbis (LAT) 7-6 (7/4), 2-6, 6-3
Jeremy Chardy (FRA) bt Lukas Rosol (CZE) 7-6 (7/0), 6-4
Leonardo Mayer (ARG) bt Federico Gaio (ITA) 6-3, 6-4
Matteo Donati (ITA) bt Santiago Giraldo (COL) 2-6, 6-1, 6-4
Kevin Anderson (RSA x15) bt Florian Mayer (GER) 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 7-6 (7/4)