Rome - Germany's Alexander Zverev crashed out of the Italian Open on Tuesday
with a 7-5, 7-5 loss to Italian wild card Matteo Berrettini in the
"The match that I played was horrendous," said Zverev after the game which took 1hr 48min on the red clay of the Foro Italico.
Zverev, the 2017 winner and runner-up in Rome last year to Novak
Djokovic, has had a terrible start to the clay-court season with the
French Open starting on May 26.
The 22-year-old lost his Madrid Open title last week, falling in the
quarter-finals of both Madrid and Munich to Stefanos Tsitsipas and
Cristian Garin respectively.
The German has yet to win a trophy this season and stands 4-6 on clay this spring.
Zverev had been seeded fourth in the final clay-court warm-up before
Roland Garros, and was playing his first game having received a
Last year, Zverev reached the final in Rome beating Berrettini there in their only previous meeting.
But the 33rd-ranked Italian has been on form capturing his second ATP
title on clay in Budapest last month, and reached the final in Munich.
Zverev started with a break in the second set, but lost this advantage immediately.
The 33rd-ranked Italian survived four break points, breaking the
German in the twelfth game to close 7-5 to the delight of the home
Berrettini will play Argentine Diego Schwartzman, who eased past Yoshihito Nishioka 6-1, 6-4 in 73 minutes.
Belgian David Goffin rallied from a set
down to beat former French Open champion Stan Wawrinka in three sets and
advance to the second round.
The 28-year-old Goffin won through 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 in 1hr 55min against
the three-time Grand Slam winner to set up a meeting with Argentine
seventh seed Juan Martin Del Potro for a place in the third round.
Ninth seed Marin Cilic beat Italian wild card Andrea Basso 6-1, 7-5
as Australian Nick Kyrgios needed three sets to get past Russian 12th
seed Daniil Medvedev.
"I knew it was going to be tough today because I haven't played much
on clay," said Kyrios, who next plays Norwegian qualifier Casper Ruud.
Portgual's Joao Sousa saved four match points in the deciding set to
battle past American Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/4).
Sousa, who also trailed 1/4 in the deciding set tie-break, will play third seed Roger Federer in the second round.
Eight time Rome winner Rafael Nadal will open his tournament against
Jeremy Chardy in the second round after the Frenchman beat compatriot
Richard Gasquet 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 in a match suspended overnight on Monday.
Results from the ATP and WTA Italian Open tournaments in Rome on Tuesday (x denotes seeding):
Julia Goerges (GER x16) bt Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE) 6-3, 6-4
Alize Cornet (FRA) bt Aryna Sabalenka (BLR x9) 6-1, 6-4
Carla Suárez (ESP) bt Dayana Yastremska (UKR) 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
Darya Kasatkina (RUS) bt Irina Begu (ROU) 6-2, 7-6 (7/5)
Danielle Collins (USA) bt Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x11) 7-6 (7/5), 0-0 retired
Maria Sakkari (GRE) bt Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 6-1, 7-5
Nick Kyrgios (AUS) bt Daniil Medvedev (RUS x12) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
David Goffin (BEL) bt Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) 4-6, 6-0, 6-2
Diego Schwartzman (ARG) bt Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) 6-1, 6-4
Taylor Fritz (USA) bt Guido Pella (ARG) 6-3, 6-4
Radu Albot (MDA) bt Benoît Paire (FRA) 6-3, 6-2
Jérémy Chardy (FRA) bt Richard Gasquet (FRA) 6-1, 4-6, 6-3