Ferrero, Baghdatis crash in Rome Masters first round

ROME: Juan Carlos Ferrero and Marcos Baghdatis were proved the guests for only the first round here in Rome Masters Tennis tournament as both were humiliated by their unknown rivals.

Former number one and French Open winner Juan Carlos Ferrero. showed just how far his star has dipped as he was humiliated by Colombian qualifier Santiago Giraldo 6-0, 6-3 in under an hour.

The Spanish clay court specialist, who dealt Nadal his sole defeat here two years ago. was crashed out in the first round.

Latvia''s Ernests Gulbis took little more than an hour to dispose of Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 6-2, 6-2 to set up a second round clash with world number one Roger Federer.

The Swiss master had a first round bye and the big serving Gulbis took only 69 minutes to secure his bid for what he hopes will be an early tournament upset.

Gulbis is ranked only 40th in the world but the 21-year-old has no qualms about his next challenge having taken a set off Federer in Doha earlier this year.

Federer warmed up for his clash with Gulbis on Tuesday with a run-out in the doubles where he and compatriot Yves Allegro beat Johan Brunstrom and Jean-Julien Rojer 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) to progress to the second round.

Reigning champion and world number three Rafael Nadal also found out his second round opponent as German Philipp Kohlschreiber edged Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay in a tight three-setter 6-7 (1/7), 6-1, 6-4.

Czech 10th seed Tomas Berdych had a comfortable opener as he beat qualifier Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-3, 6-3.