Diego Schwartzman’s solid history at the Rome Masters counted for nothing on a wet Tuesday as the Argentine’s poor run on clay continued with a 6-1, 6-3 loss to Felix Auger-Aliassime,
The second-round contest lasting 61 minutes was completed before rain moved into the capital, halting play at the Foro Italico.
Luckless eighth seed Schwartzman has now lost opening matches in Monte Carlo and Madrid as well as Rome,
Auger-Aliassime had to secure his third-round place in a drizzle, advancing with 11 winners while 2020 finalist Schwartman was weighed down by 25 unforced errors.
“There was a lot of rain, heavy conditions, maybe they suited me better,” the Canadian said.
“He was struggling to find openings and I took advantage of that. I kept going for my shots with no hesitation, stuck to my game plan.
“It was a complete match from my side; I’m happy with the way I handled business today,” he said after the third Top 10 win of his career.
Fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov also scored a win, beating Polish qualifier Kamil Majchrzak by the same 6-1, 6-3 score as Auger-Aliassime.
The 13th-seeded Shapovalov, who took just 66 minutes, will play Italian Stefano Travaglia.
Italian ninth seed Matteo Berrettini, Madrid finalist on Sunday, began his home event with a ninth win from 10 matches in a two-hour comeback over Nikoloz Basilashvili 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.
The Roman improved to 17-4 on the season.
Gael Monfils made a return to tennis for the first time since early February after a calf injury but failed to survive, going down to Italian Lorenzo Sonego 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 after two and three-quarter hours.
Sonego hit 29 winners to next play Spain’s 10th seed Roberto Bautista-Agut
Reilly Opelka of the US hammered 20 aces in only the fourth clay win of his career, defeating Italian wild card Lorenzo Musetti6-4, 6-4.
2016 semi-finalist Kei Nishikori earned a walkover win as Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta withdrew with back pain.