Ninth seed Garbine Muguruza won a battle with another former Grand Slam champion Sloane Stephens in Rome this evening ©Getty Images

Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka was shocked by a home qualifier while Garbine Muguruza won a hotly anticipated battle between two former Grand Slam champions during a stellar night session of first round action at the Italian Open in Rome.

Despite no fans being in attendance at the Foro Italico due to the coronavirus pandemic, the evening session on the main court looked the hottest ticket when the order of play for day four was released, and the action under the lights did not disappoint.

The first match of the night session pitted ninth seed Garbine Muguruza, a two-time Grand Slam champion against American Sloane Stephens, who has won a Slam of her own, the 2017 US Open.

In a high-quality encounter, interrupted by rain at the end of the first set, Muguruza triumphed 6-3 6-3, and she will now face another American, in 16-year-old Coco Gauff in the round of 32.

The second match of the night on the Centrale court proved an equally dramatic affair, as Italian qualifier Lorenzo Musetti beat tenth seed Stan Wawrinka in straight sets.

In an incredible first set, 18-year-old Musetti bagled his more experienced opponent taking it 6-0 in just 18 minutes.

Wawrinka upped his level in the second set taking it to a tie-break which Musetti closed out by seven points to two to complete a 6-0 7-6 win.

Despite Wawrinka's shock loss, it was plain sailing for the other seeds in action on the men's side in Rome today.

Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka, the 10th seed, was shocked by Italian qualifier Lorenzo Musetti in the first round in Rome ©Getty Images
Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka, the 10th seed, was shocked by Italian qualifier Lorenzo Musetti in the first round in Rome ©Getty Images

Ninth seed Andrey Rublev of Russia beat Argentina's Facundo Bagnis 6-4 6-4 in the day's opening match, while later on the Centrale court Canada's Denis Shapovalov, the 12th seed, beat another Argentine in Guido Pella 6-2 6-3.

The other seed in action, Canada's Milos Raonic, seeded 13 at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament, beat France's Adrian Mannarino 7-6 6-2.

On the women's side, one seeded player did suffer defeat as Angelique Kerber, the German seeded 15, was beaten convincingly 6-3 6-1 by Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic.

Meanwhile, the other seeds in action at the WTA Premier tournament today progressed to round two.

Estonia's Annett Kontaveit, the 14th seed, beat Caroline Garcia of France 6-3 7-6 while Marketa Vondrousova, the 12th seed, was made to work hard by Japanese qualifier Misaki Doi, before the Czech player won through 6-1 4-6 6-4.

Tomorrow sees the start of the second round in both the men's and women's singles, with the top eight seeds entering the competition at this stage.

Both number one seeds face Italian wildcards during the day session tomorrow, with Novak Djokovic of Serbia up against Salvatore Caruso on the men's side, and Simona Halep of Romania facing Jasmine Paolini on the women's side.