Samantha Stosur has upset Germany’s Sabine Lisicki to move into the second round of the Rome Masters.
Stosur beat the 15th-seeded Wimbledon finalist 6-3 6-3 on Monday.
Meanwhile, in the men’s competition, in-form Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori withdrew as expected from the Rome Masters with the lower back complaint that forced him to pull out in the third set of Sunday’s Madrid final with Rafael Nadal.
In a boost to the organisers Roger Federer, who missed the majority of the Madrid Masters after his wife gave birth to twin boys, decided to play in the Masters event, which he has never won.
“Oh and btw ciao tutti, I just arrived in bella Italia! Looking forward to Rome,” the Swiss tweeted after a mid-day arrival in the Italian capital.
Federer hit the practice courts to begin preparations for a second-round match against French journeyman Jeremy Chardy, while Nadal also arrived to prepare his bid for an eighth title at the Foro Italico.
The Spaniard will open play against talented Frenchman Gilles Simon, who beat local wild card Filippo Volandri 6-2 6-3.
Bulgarian 12th seed Grigor Dimitrov had to stage a comeback to defeat Simon’s compatriot Eduardo Roger-Vasselin 4-6 6-3 6-4 while the player the young Bulgarian beat in the recent Bucharest Open final Czech Lukas Rosol beat Italy’s Fabio Fognini 6-3 6-2.
Croatian Ivo Karlovic beat Spanish qualifier Pablo Carreno Busta 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).
Nishikori, who won the Barcelona Open on clay last month, had given Nadal a real scare in the Madrid final before he finally had to call it quits at 2-6 6-4, 3-0.
He now has a fortnight to be ready for the French Open.