May 15, 2018 / 10:32 PM / 4 months ago

Goffin battles past Cecchinato to advance in rainy Rome

(Reuters) - Belgian David Goffin was pushed to three sets by Marco Cecchinato in the second round of the Italian Open on Tuesday before bouncing back to beat the Italian wild card 5-7 6-2 6-2 on a rain-interrupted day in Rome.

Goffin, the ninth seed, got off to a strong start, getting an early break and opening up a 5-1 lead in the first set before abruptly losing momentum and surrendering the next six games in a row to concede the opener tamely.

The 27-year-old rediscovered his touch in the second set, getting two early breaks of serve as Cecchinato’s confidence eroded and he ran away with the decider before sealing victory on his second match point with a sizzling crosscourt forehand.

Goffin will meet either big-serving Argentine Juan Martin del Potro or young Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas in the next round.

Tsitsipas, 19, progressed after his first-round opponent Borna Coric retired hurt while 4-1 down in the first set.

Unseeded Denis Shapovalov stunned 15th-seed Tomas Berdych in the first round, with the 19-year-old’s 1-6 6-3 7-6(5) victory ensuring he will become the top-ranked Canadian in the world when the revised ATP rankings are released on Monday.

“I’m a little bit in shock,” Shapovalov said after being informed he would leapfrog compatriot and former world number three Milos Raonic in the rankings.

“It’s crazy that it’s come so early... It’s a reason to keep working, keep staying motivated and hopefully I can keep going.”

Shapovalov will meet Dutchman Robin Haase in the second round.

Argentine Diego Schwartzman, the 14th seed, advanced to the second round after a regulation 6-4 6-1 victory over Chilean qualifier Nicolas Jarry, while Spaniard Fernando Verdasco was beaten 6-3 6-1 by Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur.

Rain delayed play at the start of the day before disrupting things at the end, with fourth seed Marin Cilic’s second round match against American Ryan Harrison suspended with the players level at 3-3 in a first set tiebreak.

Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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