Daniil Medvedev broke the back of a career-long jinx with a 6-4, 6-2 defeat of Emil Ruusvuori on Sunday to advance to the third round of the Rome Masters on Sunday.

The third seed had lost all three of his previous matches at the Foro Italico but reversed that trend as a pale sun came out after a near-washout the day before.

Medvedev looked like perhaps heading for his fourth mishap in a row here as he went down 0-3 in the opening set to his Finnish opponent.

But the former US Open winner began to find form, claiming the opening set in a comeback and taking charge in the second.

Medvedev moved ahead on his third match point as he delivered his sixth ace after 89 minutes on court.

“It’s a relief, We can talk about all of the matches I lost here – they were different. 

“The first one (three sets in 2018 against Robin Haase), I feel like I should have won.

“But whenever I come to a tournament, I know that I can play well, so I’m happy to finally get the win here in Rome.”

Medvedev and Ruussuvuori played on the iconic Pietrangelli court which is completely clad in marble with heroic nude warrior statues surrounding the space – installed under the Mussolini government nearly a century ago to mimic the glory of ancient Rome.

The seed said he barely noticed all the splendour during the heat of battle.

“I’m excited to have played in this stadium, but during the match it felt like every other court.

“But now that I’m looking around I see it…

“I want to win as many matches as possible; it’s tricky for me on clay.

“But I’m feeling great and looking forward to playing my best tennis to the end of the clay season.”

Medvedev ended with 12 winners and 23 unforced errors and next faces Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles.