Roger strolled to victory in his first match in Rome today, defeating unseeded Ivo Karlovic 6-4, 6-4.
The big serving Croatian opened the match with two aces and Roger was forced to fight off a breakball when serving for the first time. Nevertheless, our champ never really got into trouble, doing exactly what he needed, to progress in just 1hour 8minutes.
Roger broke Karlovic early in both sets and had no more problems upon his own serve as from the start of the second. It is Roger's 8th victory in 9 matches against the Croat, the one defeat was last summer in Cincinnati.
Next up will be the winner of the match between Radek Stepanek (CZE/ATP 19) and Feliciano Lopez (ESP/ATP 32). Roger lost to Stepanek 6-7, 6-7 in last year's quarter final here in Rome.