Rome - Japan's Kei Nishikori 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.
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 from the ATP and WTA Masters tournament in Rome on Monday (x denotes seeded player):
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
Sloane Stephens (USA x9) bt Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 6-1
Kaia Kanepi (EST) bt Camilla Rosatello (ITA) 6-1, 6-2
Daria Gavrilova (AUS) bt Natalia Vikhlyantseva (RUS) 5-7, 6-4, 6-3
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) bt Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 6-1, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2
Johanna Konta (GBR) bt Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK x17) 6-4, 6-3
Shuai Zhang (CHN) bt Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROM) 6-3, 7-6 (7/2)
Petra Martic (CRO) bt Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 6-1, 6-2
Anett Kontaveit (EST) bt Coco Vandeweghe (USA x12) 6-1, 6-1
Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) bt Roberta Vinci (ITA) 2-6, 6-0, 6-3
Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) bt Samantha Stosur (AUS) 6-7 (6/8), 6-3, 6-2
Robin Haase (NED) bt Daniil Medvedev (RUS) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
Fabio Fognini (ITA) bt Gael Monfils (FRA) 6-3, 6-1
Kei Nishikori (JPN) bt Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 7-6 (7/5), 6-4
Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) bt Karen Khachanov (RUS) 7-5, 6-7 (7/9), 7-6 (8/6)
Novak Djokovic (SRB x11) bt Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) 6-1, 6-3
Albert Ramos (ESP) bt Federico Del Bonis (ARG) 2-6, 7-5, 6-1
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
Benoit Paire (FRA) bt Richard Gasquet (FRA) 6-4, 6-4
Marco Cecchinato (ITA) bt Pablo Cuevas (URU) 2-6, 7-5, 6-4
David Goffin (BEL x9) bt Leonardo Mayer (ARG) 6-1, 6-2
Kyle Edmund (GBR) bt Malek Jaziri (TUN) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
Matteo Berrettini (ITA) bt Frances Tiafoe (USA) 6-3, 7-6 (7/1)