Roger Federer (ATP 3) is a good start to the Masters 1.000 tournament of Rome (5.207.405 euro). He defeated Thursday in the second round, the Portuguese Joao Sousa (ATP 72), 6-4 and 6-3.
In the eighth-finals, the twintigvoudig grandslamkampioen opposite the Croatian Borna Coric (ATP 15). That match is later in the day, because the match schedule by the rain quite a bit has been delayed.
Last week was Federer, after three years of his comeback on clay. In Madrid, lost to the Swiss in the quarter-finals by Dominic Thiem after his two match balls.
The tournament of Rome is not (yet) on the impressive roll of honour of the 37-year-old Federer. However, he was there four times runners-up: 2003, 2006, 2013 and 2015.
Rafael Nadal put hunting on the ninth race, with smooth profit
Also title holder Rafael Nadal (ATP 2) is Thursday easily qualified for the eighth finals. The Spanish gravelkoning won in the second round with a 6-0 and 6-1 against the Frenchman Jérémy Chardy (ATP 42). Nadals next opponent is the Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili (ATP 18).
The almost 33-year-old Nadal is aiming for a ninth victory in Rome. He won the prestigious graveltoernooi in the Italian capital for the first time in 2005. Followed by titles in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2018. Last year, he defeated Nadal in the final the German Alexander Zverev.