The 15th seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria will take on local favourite Gianluca Mager in the first round of the Italian Open on Monday, September 14. The match will be played from around 1 pm local time (12 noon BST). Get the live streaming options of this Grigor Dimitrov v Gianluca Mager match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Grigor Dimitrov v Gianluca Mager Head to Head
The pair have never met each other in a competitive match before. This will be the first-ever meeting between the two.
Dimitrov Needs to Pick Up Points
In 2019, Dimitrov only had two really impressive runs throughout the season. Was at the Paris Masters and the other was at the Flushing Meadows when he made it to semi-finals at both the events.
But he hasn’t reached such heights so far this season and has been very inconsistent. And that is why the former world number three has now dropped to 20 in the rankings. And given the fact that whilst defending 720 points at the US Open, he only managed to reach the second round, his ranking is likely to tumble soon.
So he will be looking to find some form and gain points to climb back up before the French Open. And he will be looking to take some inspiration from Acapulco earlier this year where he played some brilliant tennis to reach the last four. He beat Stan Wawrinka in the quarter-finals before losing to Rafael Nadal.
Both of his losses during the North American hard-court swing came against the same opponent, Marton Fuscovics. He will be happy that the Hungarian won’t be taking part in Rome. Dimitrov is the 2014 semifinalist at this event and will be eager to repeat some of the form he had shown here six years ago.
Clay Court Specialist Mager Looking to Cause Upset
It was just last October when the Italian won his first-ever match on the ATP tour. But since then his stock has been on the rise. Just five months later he had a brilliant run at Rio de Janeiro where he reached the finals. He beat four players higher than him in the rankings in that tournament including Dominic Thiem. This run helped him break into the top 100 rankings as well.
The Italian is a clay-court specialist and has played over 70% of his matches since turning professional on the red soil. In fact, it is rare for him to play on any other surface and has only won one out of the five matches he has played on the hard courts this season.
Mager would be disappointed that the tournament is not being played in front of spectators. But he would still be looking to take advantage of familiar conditions and favourite surface to cause an upset.
Grigor Dimitrov v Gianluca Mager Prediction & Tip
This is a potential banana skin match for the Bulgarian. He is much higher-ranked than the Italian but his form coming into the tournament has been patchy. Mager on the other hand is really comfortable on the clay courts and can cause Dimitrov some trouble. It will be a close encounter.
Tip: Over 20.5 games in the match: 5/6 (bet365)