Djokovic starts with Rome win, Sharapova snubbed

Four-time champion Novak Djokovic overcame Britain's Aljaz Bedene 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 on Tuesday for a place in the third round of the clay-court Rome Masters.

The world number two came through a tight opening set by dominating the tiebreaker before finishing off his victory amid a smattering of jeers from the crowd.

The Serb lost to Rafael Nadal in last week's Madrid semi-finals, but his quick start in the Italian capital was just the tonic for Djokovic, who has never failed to reach the last eight in Rome.

In a shock to Maria Sharapova, the French tennis federation refused to grant the five-time Grand Slam winner and twice Roland Garros champion a wild card to either the main draw or qualifying.

The snub means the 30-year-old will not be in Paris for the clay major, although she could earn a place in the Wimbledon main draw by reaching the semi-finals in Rome.

British fifth seed Johanna Konta reached the third round with a crushing 6-3, 6-0 win over Yulia Putintseva.

Australian Daria Gavrilova beat former finalist and 10th seed Madison Keys 2-6, 7-5, 7-5, while Dutch 15th seed Kiki Bertens put out Monica Niculescu of Romania 2-6, 6-2, 6-1.

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