Grigor Dimitrov and Marin Cilic, who have both reached the semi-finals at the Foro Italico, got off to winning starts on Monday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.
Dimitrov, the No. 15 seed and 2014 semi-finalist, proved to be too strong for Italian wild card Gianluca Mager 7-5, 6-1 in 74 minutes. From 5-5 in the first set, Dimitrov won seven straight games for his 10th victory of the season. He awaits the winner of Yoshihito Nishioka and Miomir Kecmanovic, who lifted his first ATP Tour title at the Generali Open on Sunday.
Cilic, who lost to Alexander Zverev in the Rome semi-finals two years ago, worked hard to beat Alexander Bublik 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-4 in two hours and 14 minutes for a place in the second round.
Cilic could not convert a set point on Bublik’s serve at 4-5, 30/40 and subsequently saved four break points in his next service game. Cilic broke in the first and seventh games of the second set, and moved clear early in the decider to set up a clash against sixth seed David Goffin.