Rome, Italy (Sports Network) - World No. 13 Marin Cilic was an easy
opening-round winner, while Canadian slugger Milos Raonic came up a loser
Monday at the Italian Masters tennis event, a clay-court French Open tune-up.
The 11th-seeded Croatian Cilic handled Kazakhstani qualifier Andrey Golubev
6-4, 6-2, while quality German Philipp Kohlschreiber ousted the 14th-seeded
Raonic 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 at beautiful Foro Italico.
Talented Latvian Ernests Gulbis, a qualifier this week, advanced by beating
veteran Finnish left-hander Jarkko Nieminen, 6-2, 7-6 (8-6), while 6-foot-8
rising Pole Jerzy Janowicz handled Colombian Santiago Giraldo 7-5, 6-2.
An all-Italian affair Monday saw Fabio Fognini douse Andreas Seppi 6-4, 6-1.
Fognini should have his hands full with clay-court king Rafael Nadal in his
next outing. The amazing Nadal was last week's Masters champion in Madrid.
Also on Day 2, Spanish qualifier Albert Montanes overcame quality Slovak
Martin Klizan 3-6, 7-5, 6-3; Italian Potito Starace came back to beat Czech
Radek Stepanek 4-6, 6-4, 6-3; Russian qualifier Andrey Kuznetsov topped
Belgian Xavier Malisse 6-2, 3-1, retired; France's Benoit Paire outlasted
Argentine Juan Monaco 7-6 (7-4), 1-6, 6-4; and Spaniard Albert Ramos dismissed
Czech qualifier Jan Hajek 7-5, 6-0. Montanes is rewarded with a second-round
match against world No. 1 superstar Novak Djokovic, while the wild card
Starace will encounter the great Roger Federer in his next outing.
The six-time Rome champion Nadal beat the 2011 titlist and two-time winner
Djokovic in last year's marquee finale.
The 2013 Rome winner will take home $660,000.
The Sports Network