Top seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia will take on Italian wild-card Salvatore Caruso in the second round of the 2020 ATP Italian Open on Wednesday, September 16. The match will begin at 1 pm local time (12 noon BST) local time. Get the live streaming options of this Novak Djokovic v Salvatore Caruso match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Novak Djokovic v Salvatore Caruso Head to Head
There has been one previous outing between Djokovic and Caruso and it came in the third round of the French Open last year. Djokovic won that one in straight sets.
Djokovic Looking to Move on From US Open
There are incidents in one’s life one learns from with time. In the immediate aftermath of those incidents, however, the best approach is to continue doing what one’s doing, and try to reduce its impact.
Djokovic’s default from the US Open which came at a time when he was expected to steamroll all of his opponents en route another Grand Slam would rankle. It wouldn’t be something he would forget very quickly, something he admitted in the lead-up to this tournament.
The good news, as he and even his coach Goran Ivanisevic revealed was he was back on the court as quickly as this to feature in a tournament as big as the Masters.
The Serb is a four-time winner at the Italian Open but at the same time he has made the final five other times without winning. Djokovic was a finalist last year too, losing in three sets to Rafael Nadal.
A strong start here against the Italian world number 87 will put to rest the ghosts from the US Open ‘defeat’.
Caruso Stretched but Sends out Sandgren
A clay court specialist, Caruso looked down and out in his opening round match against Tennys Sandgren but came back from a set down to win in three. In a final set where fortunes fluctuated regularly, Caruso won in a tie-breaker.
Coming into the Italian Open, Caruso had levelled his best performance at a Grand Slam when he made the third round of the US Open. Earlier, he had also entered that stage at the French Open last season – where he then lost to Djokovic.
Salvatore has been around the circuit for a while, and aged 27, he is now at his career-best ranking of 87th. The third round appearance at Flushing Meadows obviously helped but more vitally, he has been chipping away in other tournaments too, pushing to make the main draw and at times even winning a match there.
Overcoming Djokovic will be a bridge too far to surmount for obvious reason – no player has managed it this year in a full match – but there’s one difference. We are looking at Djokovic’s first match on clay, discounting the Adria Tour where he lost one, with all his other wins having come on hard court before this.
Can Caruso make that count and carve out a set from Djokovic?
Djokovic v Caruso Prediction and Tip
The world number one, despite all the issues off the court and the fact he hasn’t played on clay in a while, will continue to remain a heavy favourite. Expecting a straight set win for Djokovic but if you want to go for a gutsier option, look at the games market. Over 18.5 games probably.
Tip: Djokovic to win in straight sets: 2/9 (bet365)