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
There have been four matches played between Djokovic and Schwartzman before this and the world number one has won each time. Two of these wins have come on clay but both times, at the 2017 French Open and the 2019 Italian Open, Djokovic was stretched to the distance, going to five and three sets respectively.
Their most recent meeting came at the Australian Open earlier this year and Djokovic was an easy winner.
Djokovic Scratchy But In Final
World number one Novak Djokovic is in his tenth Rome Masters 1000 final and in with a chance of going ahead of Rafael Nadal in the all time Masters 1000 count. However, his path here has not without hiccups along the way. Djokovic has not been at his best this week, but has been able to pull himself out of tricky conditions as only he does.
The Serbian is in sight of a second French Open and 18th Grand Slam title at Roland Garros later this week and will be happy to have got the much needed practice this week on the clay in Rome. With Rafa Nadal already eliminated in the quarter-finals, he will fancy his chances of another Masters 1000 final and start as a strong favorite in the final.
The week has been shaky for Djokovic who dropped a set to German Dominik Koepfer in the quarters and was two set points down against Casper Ruud in the semi-finals on the Norwegian’s serve. As we have seen time and again, the Serb digs deep when the chips are down and was able to prevail on both occasions.
It has been a difficult summer for the world number one, with the controversial Adria Tour, contracting Covid-19, being involved in a spat with the new players association and of all things being defaulted at the US Open. But, he was able to win a Masters 1000 title at the Western & Southern Open and will be looking to add another one here just in time for the French Open.
Can Schwartzman Pick up His Energy Levels?
As if beating Rafael Nadal on clay to get to the semifinals wasn’t good enough for Schwartzman, the Argentine then needed a three-setter against Denis Shapovalov to come through. And it was one that went the distance with Schwartzman needed a final set tie-breaker to set up this meeting with Djokovic.
To make matters more challenging, the world number 15 now needs to do a double of beating Nadal and Djokovic in the tournament to win the title.
Schwartzman will take heart from the fact he was 0-9 on head to head against Nadal before their match this season and got one back here. Against Djokovic, it’s a matter of reducing a 0-4 deficit, especially on the kind of surface he has tested the world number one.
With Djokovic having shown scratchy form in his previous three rounds, needing a tie-breaker against Filip Krajinovic, a three-setter against German qualifier Dominik Koeper and having to face set points against Casper Ruud, Schwartzman will believe he has a chance.
What he would hope is for his energy to sustain after a gruelling tournament in which he was stretched to three sets by Hubert Hurkacz, beat Nadal in a highly intense encounter and then this one against Shapovalov where he needed more than three hours on court.
Djokovic v Schwartzman Prediction and Tip
This won’t be an easy match for Djokovic again but the one huge advantage in his favour is the amount of time he has between his matches and the scheduling. He will be relatively fresh and if this goes into a third, should see it through.
Tip: Djokovic to win in three: 3/1 (bet365)