Klaassen, Venus progress to second round in Italian Open

SABC News  Klaasen and Venus Twitter@NZStuff - Klaassen, Venus progress to second round in Italian Open

Raven Klaassen of South Africa and his New Zealand partner, Michael Venus, will be in second round doubles action at the Italian Open tennis tournament on Wednesday. The duo beat the Zverev brothers, Alexander and Mischa, in the first round.

Top seeded Serb, Novak Djokovic, 2nd seed Rafael Nadal of Spain, and third seeded Swiss, Roger Federer, will also be on court.

Fourth seed, Alexander Zverev of Germany, crashed out following a straight sets loss to local wildcard, Matteo Berrettini.

Zverev has been struggling with his form so far this year. He has won only 15 of his 25 matches played. His battle continued against Berrettini but for him, things again did not go according to plan.

The Italian recorded a 7-5, 7-5 win in an hour and 50 minutes. His first victory against a player ranked in the top 10 in the world.

“The biggest win of my career. I think I played a good match, but the conditions were really tough. It was windy and on centre court in Rome, it’s always tough for us. But the crowd helped me a lot, so I’m really excited,” says Berrettini.

13th seed, Borna Coric of Croatia, is also through to the third round. Coric hardly broke a sweat against British qualifier, Cameron Norrie. He needed less than an hour to race to a 6-2, 6-2 victory.

Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff surprised Bulgarian, Grigor Dimitrov. Despite trailing 1-3 in the final set. Struff won five games in a row to record a three-set win. He will face 9th seed, Marin Cilic of Croatia in the third round.

14th seed, Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia, is also through following a tough battle against Serbian, Laslo Djere. Basilashvili beat Djere 7-5, 6-4 to advance to the third round in Rome for the first time in his career.

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