Cilic Finishes Stronger In Rain-Delayed Rome Contest
Their second-round match was suspended late Tuesday night because of rain at 6-6(3-3), and Harrison started faster on Court Centrale on Wednesday afternoon, winning the first four points to quickly take a one-set lead.
Cilic, though, recovered well, winning 86 per cent of his first-serve points (12/14) in the second set to even the match. The Croatian was steadier in the final-set tie-break as well, winning the first five points as Harrison grew frustrated with his play. Cilic will next meet Frenchman Benoit Paire for a place in the quarter-finals.
Paire recovered from a set and a break down to defeat Argentine Diego Schwartzman 2-6, 6-4, 6-2. The World No. 52 won eight consecutive games from a 4-2 deficit in the second set to wrestle control of the match, before clinching victory on his eighth match point after one hour and 51 minutes.
Tenth seed Pablo Carreno Busta fought past American Steve Johnson, who beat Stan Wawrinka in the first round, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 to achieve his best result in the Italian capital. Carreno Busta saved three of four break points faced in the decider.
The Spaniard will next meet Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene, who advanced when seventh seed Kevin Anderson retired after losing the first set 6-4. Anderson reached his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final last week at the Mutua Madrid Open.