Lleyton Hewitt grinded out a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win over ninth—seeded Mikhail Youzhny in the opening round at the Rome Masters on Tuesday, a positive step in the Australian’s comeback from hip surgery.

Youzhny committed a whopping 59 unforced errors to Hewitt’s 34 and dropped to 1-4 in his career against the former top-ranked player, who underwent surgery on Jan. 29.

In other matches, Stanislas Wawrinka easily beat Juergen Melzer 6-1, 6-2; Feliciano Lopez advanced past Benjamin Becker 6-4, 6-3; and Italian wild card Simone Bolelli eliminated German lucky loser Simon Greul 6-4, 6-1.

Later, top-ranked Roger Federer plays his first singles match of the clay season against No. 40 Ernests Gulbis and 2008 Rome champion Novak Djokovic faces Jeremy Chardy of France.

Keywords: Rome Masters

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