Updated: May 15, 2021
John Millman d Dusan Lajovic 6-3 6-4.
Millman was 1-0 H2H against Lajovic, winning a clay match 6-4 6-0. Millman entered the match on a high from winning 4 out of his last 6 clay matches against quality opponents like Hurkacz.
Lajovic has not been in as great of form recently, losing all 7/7 of his recent clay matches. and hasn't won on clay since French Open in September 2020.
Both these players started off well, holding their serves, making it 3-3 before Millman really took control on court, winning the match in straight sets.
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina d Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 7-6
The wind was a huge factor in this match, as there were 15 double faults served between the two players. It was another story of Dimitrov's inconsistency.
Fokina has proved his worth on clay recently, whereas Dimitrov shows glimpses of his younger self, but is on the downhill. Fokina loved to attack Dimitrov's backhand, and with the strong winds, proved difficult for Dimitrov.
Roberto Bautista Agut d Tommy Paul 6-3 6-4
The spanish maestro was too much for the American. Although Paul took a set of Rublev last tournament, he couldn't bring the intensity back to take a set off Agut.
Cameron Norrie d Roberto Carballes Baena 6-4 6-4
A total of 8 breaks throughout the match saw many changes of momentum, but it was the Brit that came out on top. Although this isn't Norrie's favourite surface, he's proving a handy clay player with QF in Barcelona losing to eventual champ Nadal, and the final in Estoril, losing in a tight 3 set battle with Ramos-Vinolas.
Denis Shapovalov d Kamil Majchrzak 6-1 6-3
Shapovalov proved too good for the Polish qualifier, easing past in straight sets.
Mateo Berrettinni d Nikoloz Basilashvilli 4-6 6-2 6-4
A great match in theory proved to be a great match to watch. Not sure if Berrettinni was tired or not from Madrid Open, but he proved sluggish in the first set. He then switched it to break twice in the second set, and stealing the match in a close third set. The Italian magic must've propelled him to victory!
Lorenzo Sonego d Gael Monfils 6-4 5-5-7 6-4.
Speaking of magic, Sonego was able to pull off a win in a tight affair! An eventful and entertaining evening no doubt! Although Monfils is nearing the end of his career at 34, he still held some poise against another inspired Italian.
Sonego can get very heated, and he lost control of the second set, when he was up a break. The Flying Frenchman did manage to pull the third set with some tiring points, a common theme with matches against Monfils.
Reilly Opelka d Lorenzo Musetti 6-4 6-4
Although beloved Musetti has reached many hearts around Italy and the world, a common theme has been big servers still being advantageous on slower surfaces like clay. Isner proved this last tournament in Madrid. defeating Bautista-Agut, Rublev, and taking a set off Thiem.
Musetti is not used to the play style and extreme serving of Opelka, which was overpowering. Before this tournament, Opelka hadn't won a clay match 300 in the world last June.
Kei Nishikori d Pablo Carreno-Busta via walkover
Novak Djokovic d Taylor Fritz 6-3 7-6(5)
Although Djokovic got broken twice, including serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set, he put on the usual performance. Djokovic is seeking his 6th Rome title and is determined, being favourite behind Nadal.
Felix Auger-Aliassime d Diego Schwartzmann 6-1 6-3
Despite a shaky Rd 1 performance from Felix, he was able to put that behind him and produce some outstanding tennis, demolishing Schwartzmann.
Felix did very well to move the shortest man on tour around, and make the most of it by coming into the net and finishing the point off with a volley.