Norway’s Casper Ruud will take on Italian wildcard entrant Lorenzo Sonego in the second round of the 2020 ATP Italian Open on Wednesday, September 16. The exact match timing is yet to be determined. Get the live streaming options of this Casper Ruud v Lorenzo Sonego match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Casper Ruud v Lorenzo Sonego Head to Head
This is the first time ever Ruud and Sonego will be playing each other in a competitive match.
Ruud Coming off a Khachanov Shock
While Khachanov was the seeded player, there was always that sense of Ruud having the game to surprise his opponent in the first round on clay. And that’s exactly how it petered out, with the Norwegian usurping Khachanov in three sets to make it to the second round of the Italian Open.
Last season, Ruud had entered round three at Rome, defeating Britain’s Dan Evans and Nick Kyrgios on his way. And to top that performance, Ruud went on to win his first ever ATP title earlier this year at the Buenos Aires Open – again on clay.
Ruud would have made it two titles in a span of less than a month when he reached the final at the Santiago Open as well but went down fighting to Thiago Seyboth Wild in the title-decider.
The world number 34, currently at his career-best ranking did not have a great time during the one competition he played in the pandemic break, the Thiem’s 7 Invitational, losing all three matches there but a third round at the US Open turned out to his joint-best performance ever at a major so far.
He now takes on another clay court specialist in the form of the 25-year-old Sonego.
Sonego’s Local Run Helps Him Win Wildcard
A quarterfinal at the Rio Open earlier this year and back to back titles in exhibition competitions during the pandemic break have all gone some way in helping Sonego earn a wildcard instead of having to go through the qualifiers.
And despite having lost in the first round at both, the Cincinnati Masters and US Open over the last few weeks, Sonego has proved the organisers right. In the first round, playing the higher-ranked Nikoloz Basilashvili, Sonego wasted no time in disposing off his Georgian opponent.
Sonego won 6-3, 6-1, never allowing Basilashvili to find any rhythm in the encounter, as he grew better as the match progressed.
Interestingly, while Sonego’s only ATP title has come on grass in 2019, he has made nine Challenger and Futures finals on clay and won five of them. And his confidence about playing on clay won’t make it very easy for the favourite Ruud.
Ruud v Sonego Prediction and Tip
While it’s understandable Ruud is the favourite to win this, at 2/5 one almost senses he is too short. It could boil down to being a gritty battle that goes to the third set with Ruud winning in three being a tempting option. We will go with a slightly less risky call though.
Tip: Over 21.5 games in the match: 8/11 (bet365)