Filip Krajinovic needed just 69 minutes Tuesday to post a 6-2, 6-4 victory over sixth-seeded Russian Andrey Rublev in the second round of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome.
Krajinovic recorded 25 winners and made just three unforced errors in the crisp victory. The Serbian saved all three of his break points.
Rublev registered 16 winners and had only two unforced errors. But he won just 56 percent of his first-serve points, while Krajinovic converted 67.9 percent.
Krajinovic set the tone by winning the first games of the match.
Krajinovic will next face one of two Italians -- either 10th-seeded Jannik Sinner or Fabio Fognini -- in the third round. Sinner beat Spain's Pedro Martinez 6-4, 6-3 on Tuesday, while Fognini defeated Austria's Dominic Thiem 6-4, 7-6 (5) on Monday.
Sinner and Fognini meet Wednesday night.
"I got to know him a little bit more in Davis Cup," Sinner said of Fognini. "It's going to be a packed house. But I will just enjoy it. Hopefully it's going to be a great match. I hope (the crowd support) will be equal."
Top-seeded Novak Djokovic converted 75 percent of his first-serve points while registering a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Russian Aslan Karatsev in a second-round match.
Djokovic had 17 winners against three unforced errors.
The five-time event champion from Serbia was pleased with his match against Karatsev.
"You always hope you can play some exciting and attractive points, and that you can come out as the winner of those points and celebrate with the crowd, obviously," Djokovic said. "That's what the crowd is looking for. Energy, excitement, fight, and they want to see some good tennis.
"We had some nice points today. It's always good to play in the Colosseum of tennis, and this stadium certainly is."
In other second-round play, fifth-seeded Casper Ruud of Norway rallied for a 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-4 triumph over Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp, while eighth-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime posted a 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2 win over Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
No. 13 seeded Denis Shapovalov of Canada beat Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 7-6 (5).
In other first-round play, ninth-seeded Brit Cameron Norrie defeated Italian wild card Luca Nardi 6-4, 6-4, Belgium's David Goffin posted a 7-6 (8), 7-6 (2) win over 11th-seeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland, and 12th-seeded Diego Schwartzman from Argentina outlasted Serbia's Miomir Kecmanovic 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (3).
Also, John Isner notched a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Argentina qualifier Francisco Cerundolo, and Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov eliminated qualifier Brandon Nakashima 6-3, 6-4.
--Field Level Media