Following a day of persistent rain at Foro Italico, all Wednesday’s matches on both ATP and WTA tours were called off. That will almost certainly mean the organizers will have to reschedule two rounds to be played on the same day either on Thursday (weather-permitting) or Friday. A number of stars including the returning Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will be in action.
Djokovic-Shapovalov Promises Fireworks
The time Novak Djokovic and Denis Shapovalov faced off was at the 2019 Australian Open. Despite conceding the fourth set 6-0 and subsequently the match, Shapovalov was one of only two men to take a set off the World No.1 in Melbourne.
Djokovic is now hitting his peak again with the French Open looming. He warmed up for his Italian Open campaign with a third title in Madrid where he defeated Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semis and finals respectively.
Shapovalov had not won a match on clay in 2019 prior to Rome, but could he now string two successive wins and send shock-waves across the Italian capital? Let us say he will run Djokovic close in what should be classic.
Djokovic v Shapovalov Prediction
Djokovic to win in three sets: 4/1 (bet365)
Will Bertens Be A Victim Of A Champion’s Hangover?
Kiki Bertens claimed her biggest title of her fledgling tennis career when she beat Simona Halep in the showpiece final at the Mudua Madrid Open last weekend. With that victory, Bertens attained a career-high ranking of World No.4, officially becoming the highest ranked Dutchwoman ever.
Bertens has grown to become one of the best players on the WTA tour in the last two seasons with some eye-catching displays on both clay and hard courts. Her powerful serve and ferocious forehand are hit with venom and measured accuracy. She is also a very astute in reading the game and taking the sting out of the ball.
The newly-crowned Madrid champion will need to put on another clinic this week as the sky is the limit. But with back-to-back Premier Mandatory events coming thick and fast, Bertens may be slightly fatigued after investing too much energy in her sensational run to the title during the weekend.
Amanda Anisimova might have advanced to the second round as a lucky loser, she is unfazed by the prospect of playing the big names in women’s tennis. The American is also a champion on the dirt this year after winning in Bogota. One is inclined to say Bertens won’t have it all her way in this one, and Anisimova will push her hard,
Bertens v Anisimova Prediction
Games Handicap Amanda Aminisova +5: 25/19 (888Sport)
Can Cibulkova Thwart Osaka At The Fourth Attempt?
Dominika Cibulkova and Naomi Osaka will face off for the second straight week. The Japanese World No.1 extended her winning record over the Slovak to three matches. But their meeting in Madrid was tighter than what the scoreline suggested with Cibulkova going mighty close to forcing a decider.
Cibulkova was imperious in her match against Sasnovich on Monday and I watched that match firsthand. Her movement and anticipation were excellent and the nature of the slow courts in Rome could work to her advantage. Osaka said last week that she was in constant contemplation about losing her No.1 ranking which slightly affected her focus.
This week nothing has changed, and the permutations are more or less the same. Osaka will need not only worry about her ranking but also a dangerous Cibulkova.
Cibulkova v Osaka Prediction
Cibulkova to win: 23/10 (888Sport)