Ninth seed Andrey Rublev made a winning start on his Internazionali BNL d’Italia debut on Tuesday with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over qualifier Facundo Bagnis in one hour and 38 minutes. He now plays Hubert Hurkacz in the Rome second round.
Rublev, who hit 26 winners for his 20th match win of the season (20-5), took a 3-0 lead in the first set and proved to be too strong in baseline rallies. He broke Bagnis at 3-3 in the second set and finished with a drop shot winner.
Last week, 22-year-old Rublev advanced to his second US Open quarter-final (also 2017), losing to Daniil Medvedev. Prior to the suspension of the ATP Tour, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rublev had won two ATP Tour titles this year at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open (d. Moutet) and at the Adelaide International (d. Harris).
Elsewhere, John Millman recovered from 2-4 down in the second set to overcome lucky loser Joao Sousa 7-5, 7-6(2) in two hours and four minutes. He now challenges eighth seed Diego Schwartzman.