Defending champion Andy Murray was on Tuesday sent packing from the Italian Open after losing 6-2 6-4 to Italian Fabio Fognini in the second round.
The loss continues the 30-year-old Briton’s poor form ahead of the French Open, which gets under way on 28 May.
Meanwhile, world number two Novak Djokovic knocked out Murray’s fellow Brit Aljaz Bedene also in the second round.
The Serb, who has never failed to reach the last eight in Rome, dominated the tie-break to win a tight first set but eased through the second to win 7-6 (7-2) 6-2.
“A little bit of a slow start, but Bedene is the kind of player that gives you good rhythm,” said Djokovic, who was beaten in the Madrid Open semis by Rafael Nadal last week.
“I had some good exchanges, some good games with rallies and it felt right, especially in the second set.”
Djokovic, who received a bye in the first round, faces either Pablo Carreno Busta or Roberto Bautista Agut in round three.