Raonic, Venus Williams progress in Rome

Raonic defeated Italian Marco Cecchinato 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Kyrgios hammered Italian wild card Salvatore Caruso 6-1, 6-2. In women's play, 1999 champion Venus Williams, the 12th seed, started with a defeat of Coco Vandeweghe, 6-4, 6-3.

Venus Williams started with a victory over Coco Vandeweghe in Rome on Monday.   -  Getty Images

A pair of men's seeds booked second-round spots at the Rome Masters on Monday as Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga pulled the plug on his participation due to a training injury.

The sudden adductor problem with less than a fortnight left before the French Open is not good news for the seventh seed.

On court there were wins for Canadian tenth seed Milos Raonic, and 11th seed Richard Gasquet as second seed Andy Murray landed in Rome after splitting from coach Amelie Mauresmo a day after he lost the Madrid final to Novak Djokovic.

Raonic defeated Italian Marco Cecchinato 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to line up a massive challenge against Nick Kyrgios in the next round. Kyrgios hammered Italian wild card Salvatore Caruso 6-1, 6-2.

"Clay is probably my least preferred surface, to be honest. But I actually don't play too bad on it. I think it suits my game quite well," the Australian said. "It gives me time to set up and really go for my shots and then execute. If you've got a good serve you can serve for any surface."

Kyrgios said he had not spoken with slumping Bernard Tomic, whose habit of giving away matches and not trying his best is becoming a major cross to bear for the Aussie. "I haven't really been hanging out with Bernard or speak to him too much," Kyrgios said. "I'm sure something is not right.

"He doesn't want to push it I think a couple weeks out from the French. that's the main target, and obviously Wimbledon following after."

Heavy hitters Kyrgios and Raonic stand level at 2-2 in their series, with the Australian winning the last two at Wimbledon last summer and Miami in March. France's Gasquet advanced past compatriot Julien Benneteau 6-3, 6-0.

In women's play, 1999 champion Venus Williams, the 12th seed, started with a defeat of Coco Vandeweghe, 6-4, 6-3 as Russian Darya Kasatkina put out Czech 16th seed Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-4.

"That was my first time playing against Coco. I hit with her a little bit at Fed Cup but I was not really sure what to expect." William said.

"I imagine that on the clay I have a little bit more advantage, just having played more matches on clay. I think that helped a lot."

Roland Garros finalist Lucie Safarova, the tenth seed, started with a defeat of veteran Italian wild card Francesca Schiavone 6-3, 6-2.

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