Five Swedes, led by No. 8-seeded Kent Carlsson, marched through the first round of the Italian Open Monday as the $495,000 tournament got under way at the Foro Italico in Rome.
Carlsson, the highest-seeded player to see action, routed Carl Limberger of Australia, 6-1, 6-0, on the slow clay perfectly suited to the Swedish base line game.
Other seeded Swedes who advanced were No. 9 Mikael Pernfors, No. 13 Jonas Svensson, No. 14 Ulf Stenlund and No. 15 Joakim Nystrom.
Pernfors, former two-time NCAA champion at the University of Georgia, battled for more than two hours before subduing Libor Pimek of Czechoslovakia, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Svensson beat Ivan Kley of Brazil, 6-0, 6-2; Stenlund ousted Milan Srejber of Czechoslovakia, 6-3, 6-4, and Nystrom defeated Hans Schwaier of West Germany, 6-3, 6-0.
Another Swede, No. 2 Mats Wilander, begins play today as do No. 1 Ivan Lendl of Czechoslovakia and No. 6 John McEnroe.
Other seeded players who had the day off Monday were No. 3 Miloslav Mecir of Czechoslovakia, No. 4 Yannick Noah of France, No. 5 Henri Leconte of France and No. 7 Andres Gomez of Ecuador.
Two Americans advanced to the second round. Two others were eliminated.
Andre Agassi of Las Vegas beat Simone Colombo of Italy, 6-3, 7-5, and Jay Berger of Plantation, Fla., downed Jan Gunnarsson of Sweden, 6-4, 6-2. Cassio Motta of Brazil defeated Mel Purcell of Atlanta, 6-2, 4-6, 6-0, and Horacio de la Pena of Argentina beat Derrick Rostagno of Brentwood, Calif., 6-3, 6-3.
Rostagno, who is of Italian ancestry, asked for permission to play for Italy's Davis Cup team. Italian officials said a decision will be announced today.