Roberdo earns first rain-day win to send Safin to the exits

Roberdo earns first rain-day win to send Safin to the exitsRome - Tommy Robredo earned a three-set elimination of popular Russian Marat Safin 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 on a rain-plagued Tuesday as officials played for time at the Rome Masters. After finishing a mere handful of Day one matches Monday, Tuesday was equally brutal on scheduling after lashings of overnight rain continued from mid-morning.

The weather only died down enough to take to the courts at the Foro Italico two hours after the intended start, with officials packing as many courts as they could get cleaned and dried.

The 13-th seeded Robredo still spent nearly two and a quarter- hours in helping Safin to the Rome exits for likely the final time as the Russian vows he will retire at the end of this season.

The Russian won the interrupted opening set with two breaks and looked to be heading home with a 4-1 lead in the second. Roberdo closed the gap to win the set and take it into a third to earn the victory.

Robredo improved to 6-4 over Safin as he claimed his fourth straight match in that series in the rain-plagued contest.

German Philip Kohlschreiber rallied for a comeback as his first- round contest with Italian Simone Bolelli was pushed off court midway through by weather. But the German found his poise in the pause to advance 4-6, 6-1, 6-0.

Russian Mikhail Youzhny completed a match left hanging Monday night, defeating Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain 7-5, 6-4 to face Swiss tenth seed Stan Wawrinka.

Swede Robin Soderling played the kind of match required on the day, racing through in just 61 minutes to trounce Spaniard Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-0.

British fourth seed Andy Murray had his opening second-round contest put back until Wednesday as officials began trimming the schedule as night approached.

Rain again forced a suspension at evening light began to fade. Weather reports call for improving conditions on Wednesday with the threat of wet weather returning Thursday.(dpa)