Soderling finally edged past Fernando Verdasco 2-6 7-5 6-4 in a two hour and 42 minute epic.

Robin Soderling saved three match points before winning his second-round clash at the Rome Masters on Tuesday. Soderling had made a disastrous start, slipping a double-break down and sacrificing the opening set, and looked down and out in the second when Verdasco served for the match before rallying for an unlikely win.

Seventh seed Tomas Berdych eased past Argentina’s Juan Monaco 6-2 6-2, while 16th seed Richard Gasquet needed just 62 minutes to beat Russian qualifier Igor Andreev 6-1 6-2. Lucky loser Jarkko Nieminen also advanced to round three. In first-round action, Marin Cilic won his all-Croatian battle with Ivo Karlovic when Karlovic was forced to retire with a back problem trailing 6-4 1-0.

Kevin Anderson also withdrew injured when he trailed 7-6 (7-1) 1-0 to Sam Querrey. Ninth seed Nicolas Almagro marked his debut in the world’s top 10 with an emphatic 6-0 7-5 win over Italian wild card Simone Bolelli, taking the first set in just 22 minutes.

Fourteenth seed Stanislas Wawrinka came from behind to beat Fabio Fognini 6-7 (7-5) 6-2 6-4, while Ivan Ljubicic, Juan Ignacio Chela and Feliciano Lopez were also first-round winners.



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