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Djokovic sees off Bedene in Rome

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 17-05-2017

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Britain's Aljaz Bedene put up a stern challenge but was ultimately outclassed by Novak Djokovic at the Rome Masters on Tuesday.

The Serbian second seed saw off qualifier Bedene for the third time in succession with a 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 success in an hour and 45 minutes.

He will meet the winner of the all-Spanish clash between Pablo Carreno Busta and Roberto Bautista Agut next.

Alexander Zverev remained on course for a third-round showdown with Andy Murray having come through an awkward three-set encounter with Kevin Anderson.

The big-serving South African caused Zverev problems throughout but the 20-year-old made the decisive breakthrough in the final set for a 6-4 4-6 6-4 triumph.

Zverev will now face Viktor Troicki in the second round with the winner set to meet Murray or Fabio Fognini.

David Ferrer notched up his 700th Tour win with a 4-6 6-3 6-1 win against fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, while in-form David Goffin came from a set down to defeat Fernando Verdasco 3-6 6-3 6-2.

Pablo Cuevas maintained his impressive season with victory over Adrian Mannarino in an entertaining first round clash on Next Gen Arena.

The Uruguayan followed up Masters quarter-finals in Monte Carlo and Indian Wells with a career-best run to a 1000-level semi-final in Madrid last week.

He was beaten in the Spanish capital by Dominic Thiem and set up a second round repeat with the Austrian, who is up to a career-high seven in the world rankings after seeing off Mannarino 6-4 7-6.

Another repeat from Madrid will be France's Benoit Paire against world No 3 Stan Wawrinka after Paire won his first round match with fellow Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in straight sets.

Paire beat Wawrinka in three memorable sets at the Caja Magica last week and with the Swiss struggling to get his clay-court season going the Frenchman will fancy his chances of another victory.

Also in the first round, Diego Schwartzmann won't be going any further in Rome after the in-form Argentine was beaten by Jack Sock.

The American rallied from a second set blow out to set up a second-round meeting with Jiri Vesely thanks to a 6-4 1-6 7-5 triumph.

In other news, Nick Kyrgios withdrew from the tournament with a hip injury, casting doubt over his participation at the French Open.

Kyrgios was due to play Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round in Rome, but was replaced by lucky loser Alexandr Dolgopolov in the men's draw.

Kyrgios, who won two matches at last week's Madrid Open before losing to eventual champion Rafael Nadal, needed treatment for a hip complaint during his first-round win over Marcos Baghdatis in Spain.

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