Daniil Medvedev’s dislike of clay likely intensified on Wednesday as the Rome Masters second seed was booted out in 6-2, 6-4 the second round by Aslan Karatsev.
Medvedev had rolled over fellow Russian since the start of 2019, winning all six of his matches against compatriots.
But the combination of an on-form challenger who reached the Australian Open semi-finals before winning the Dubai title and the clay which Medvedev just cannot stomach proved to be too much on the day.
The ATP No. 2 dropped to 1-2 on the surface as he tries to limit his exposure to the surface. Karatsev came to Rome with a pedigree after beating No. 1 Novak Djokovic last month on clay in Belgrade.
Karatsev improved to 21-6 on the season as his compatriot and ATP Cup partner this season continues to struggle on the dirt.
Fifth-seeded Monte Carlo winner Stefanos Tsitsipas will face Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in the third round after beating former US Open winner Marin Cilic 7-5, 6-2.
Berrettini, the ninth seed, accounted for Australian John Millman 6-4, 6-2.
“Marin is someone I respect a lot,” Tsitsipas said. “I knew he was going to come out here and play his best tennis.”
The Greek won his 28th match this season against seven losse; he is level with Andrey Rublev (a winner over Jan-Lennard Struff 6-7(7), 6-1, 6-4) on the most Tour wins this season.
Cilic contributed 23 unforced errors to 13 for Tsitsipas: “He made me move a lot,” the winner said. “Towards the very end of the first set I stayed calm and resilient.”
Weekend Madrid champion Alexander Zverev easily brushed past Bolivian Hugo Dellien 6-2, 6-4.
Main photo:- Aslan Karatsev winning in Rome by ATPTour.com