Italian Open: Berrettini stretched in opener, Monfils exits. Image Source: IANS News

Rome, May 11 : Less than 48 hours after losing a tough Madrid Open final against Alexander Zverev, Italy's world No. 9 Matteo Berrettini was stretched by Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the rain-affected opening round of the Italian Open tennis on Tuesday.

Berrettini, who recorded his ninth win in his last 10 matches, will take on Australia's John Millman, who defeated Dusan Lajovic of Serbia 6-3, 6-4, in the second round.

Basilashvili, winner of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open and BMW Open this year, got the decisive breakthrough enroute to clinching the first set with a forehand winner.

But Berrettini responded with two breaks and 10 winners in the second set. The 25-year-old went on to save three break points at 3-3 in the decider, and secured his fourth win over Basilashvili, when the world No. 30 mishit a forehand wide.

Italian Lorenzo Sonego came through another tough battle against No. 14 seed Gael Monfils of France, winning 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in two hours and 48 minutes.

Sonego, who is now 12-8 this year, including singles and doubles titles at the Sardegna Open in Cagliari, struck 29 winners. He now challenges No. 10 seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain.

Bautista Agut posted a 6-3, 6-4 win over American qualifier Tommy Paul in one hour and 31 minutes. It was a repeat of their scoreline at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters last month.

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