Top seeded Novak Djokovic will need to overcome Norway’s Casper Ruud to make it to the Rome Masters 2020 final. The two meet on Sunday, September 20 and it is expected to start at around 2.30 pm local time (1.30 pm BST). Get the live streaming options of this Novak Djokovic v Casper Ruud match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Novak Djokovic v Casper Ruud Head to Head
This is the first time between Djokovic and Ruud, who is currently ranked 34th in the world and showing an upward trajectory of growth.
Djokovic Needs Three Sets against Qualifier
It was expected to be an easy win for Djokovic going into his quarterfinal against Dominik Koepfer, a qualifier who career-best ranking before this week was 83rd. And it looked like it was heading in that direction too when Djokovic raced off to a 4-0 lead in the first set.
Things started to go slightly wrong after that as Koepfer broke back twice to attempt a comeback but the world number one ensured that was the extent of his fightback in the opening set.
The second set turned in Koepfer’s favour, who first broke back to level the scoreline and then repeated the dose for the fourth time to take a 5-4 lead. All of a sudden, Djokovic had lost a set, as he kept missing out on break-points.
And while Djokovic then went on to wrap up the match in the final set, it was a scratchy performance from the world number one who is looking to challenge Rafael Nadal for the throne.
This result comes on the back of another sterling effort from Filip Krajinovic in the first set of the previous round which could have gone either way. Djokovic will now hope he can get some of his breaking rhythm back.
Ruud Sends out the Fourth Seed
Matteo Berrettini was a favourite going into the Rome Masters quarterfinal and when he won the first set 6-4 against Ruud, things looked to be moving to script. Ruud, however, has had a year to remember on clay, having reached two ATP finals and winning one and he was never going to go away without a fight.
The comeback came in the second set when he ran off to a 3-0 lead and nine forehand winners helped him dominate the set to level things out.
Ruud broke in the first game of the third set as well but was broken back immediately as the set moved into a tie-breaker. Berrettini took the early advantage going 4-2 up but that was the extent of his presence in the match as Ruud crept ahead soon and won five of the next six points to wrap up the match.
This follows a string of solid results for Ruud in this tournament, beating Karen Khachanov, Lorenzo Sonego and Marin Cilic in the first three rounds. And while it’s the number one he is facing next up, Ruud would believe he can test the Serb given the respective form for the two.
Djokovic v Ruud Prediction and Tip
Djokovic starts off 1/6 to win this which gives some room to go with Ruud winning a set here. Might be a tough ask but Ruud would believe he has a chance to do that.
Tip: Ruud to win a set: 13/8 (bet365)