Djokovic, birthday boy Murray win Rome openers
Rome, Italy (Sports Network) - Reigning champion Novak Djokovic and world No. 4 Andy Murray were a pair of second-round winners Tuesday at the Italian Open -- the fifth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event of the year.
The world No. 1 Djokovic was broken only once in cruising past rising Aussie teenager Bernard Tomic, 6-3, 6-3, in 69 minutes.
The two-time champion Djokovic dethroned then-reigning champ Rafael Nadal in last year's Rome finale.
Djokovic, who also holds three of the four Grand Slam titles right now, also titled here in 2008 and was the 2009 Rome runner-up to the clay-court master Nadal.
Murray, who turned 25 on Tuesday, staved off former top-five Argentine star David Nalbandian 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 in 2 hours, 37 minutes on the red clay at the beautiful Foro Italico. The former Wimbledon runner-up Nalbandian was a Rome finalist in 2004.
Meanwhile, fifth-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga trounced Serb Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-2 in the second round, sixth-seeded David Ferrer reached the third round by handling fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) on Day 3, and 10th-seeded Argentine slugger Juan Martin del Potro snuck past capable lefthanded Frenchman Michael Llodra 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 to reach the second round. Ferrer was the 2010 Rome runner-up to Nadal. The 6-foot-6 former U.S. Open champion del Potro was a clay-court winner in Portugal just two weeks ago.
Eleventh-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon moved into round two with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over American Donald Young, while former Rome titlist Juan Carlos Ferrero ousted 13th-seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils 7-5, 6-3 to reach the third round. The former world No. 1 and former French Open champion Ferrero, of Spain, reigned in Rome back in 2001.
In some other first-round action involving seeds, No. 14 Argentine Juan Monaco mauled Romanian qualifier Adrian Ungur 6-2, 6-2, Marcel Granollers erased No. 15 fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 6-4, and nifty No. 16 Frenchman Richard Gasquet topped Austrian lefthander Jurgen Melzer 6-1, 7-6 (8-6).
Additional opening-round action saw American qualifier Sam Querrey edge out Finnish veteran Jarkko Nieminen 7-6 (7-4), 5-7, 6-4, Pole Lukasz Kubot best Italian wild card Potito Starace 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, and qualifier Guillermo Garcia-Lopez ground fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar 6-4, 6-1.
In some second-round action on Wednesday, a second-seeded Nadal will meet German Florian Mayer, third-seeded Roger Federer will face Argentine Carlos Berlocq and del Potro will encounter Russian Mikhail Youzhny. Nadal is a men's-record five-time Rome champion. The two-time Rome runner-up Federer is fresh off his Masters 1000 title in Madrid last week.
The 2012 Rome champ will earn $595,000.
05/15 17:00:12 ET