Grigor Dimitrov won his first-round match against Jerzi Janowicz of Poland in the Rome Masters 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) to set up a second-round clash with local fan favourite Fabio Fognini.
Dimitrov had only played Janowicz once before, losing last year in Cincinnati, but this time around he served strongly and played mostly error-free. Although he converted only one of six break-points, he faced none himself and that was enough in the end to wrap the match in just over an hour and a half.
His next opponent is a familiar one – Dimitrov and Fognini have played each other in the second round of the other two clay-court Master tournaments this year, in Monte-Carlo and Madrid, with Dimitrov emerging victorious in both matches to take a 3-1 lead in head-to-head encounters.
Dimitrov reached his first Masters semi-final in Rome last year, but faces a tough challenge to repeat this time around, with Tomas Berdych (against whom Dimitrov is 3-2 in his career) looming as a potential third-round opponent and Roger Federer in the quarterfinals, if seeding bears out.
(Grigor Dimitrov photo: mirsasha/flickr.com)