Goffin beats Wawrinka, plays Del Potro at Rome Open 2nd round


David Goffin of Belgium in action against Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland during their men's singles first round match at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Italy, May 14, 2019. EPA-EFE/ETTORE FERRARI

ROMA.- David Goffin on Tuesday beat Stanislas Wawrinka 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 in the first round of the Italian Open, setting a second-round date with Argentinian Juan Martin Del Potro.

The 23rd-ranked Belgian player took one hour and 52 minutes to get past Wawrinka, world No.29, at the ATP Masters 1,000 Italian event on clay.

Until Tuesday’s encounter, the 34-year-old Swiss, who was a 2019 Italian Open finalist, has won three of the previous head-to-head career matches against Goffin, but none of the matches were played on clay.

Goffin, 28, earned his second win over Wawrinka, following their round of 16 duel at the Indian Wells Masters contested on hard court.

Following his defeat to Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics in the Madrid Open first round, Goffin is performing well at the Rome-based event.

Next up in the second round, the Belgian is set to square off against Del Potro, as both battled against each other in the round of 16 last year, when the Argentine withdrew in the second set on account of injury.

Del Potro, one of the favorites of the Italian crowd, defeated Goffin only once out of their four head-to-head matches, and that win came in the round of 16 at the 2016 Swiss Indoor tournament in Basel.

In the second round in Rome, eight-time champion Rafael Nadal of Spain is set to kick off his bid to win a ninth Roman title when he plays France’s Jeremy Chardy.

Earlier in the day, Chardy managed to get past his fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 10 minutes in a match that was interrupted late Monday because of the rain and was resumed on Tuesday.

It was the second head-to-head victory for 42nd-ranked Chardy against his countryman, out of a total of seven encounters.

He recently reached the round of 16 at Madrid Masters, when he conceded a straight-set loss to the eventual champion, Novak Djokovic of Serbia.

The 32-year-old Frenchman thus is set to face off against the Italian Open defending champion Nadal, while the Spaniard has a 2-0 record against Chardy in their two head-to-head clashes.

Nadal has not conceded any sets against Chardy so far.

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