12th seed and three-time quarterfinalist David Goffin will play Italian wildcard, Salvatore Caruso, in the first round of the 2021 Italian Open on Sunday, May 9. Get the live streaming options of this David Goffin v Salvatore Caruso match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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David Goffin v Salvatore Caruso Head to Head
Salvatore Caruso leads the head-to-head 1-0, winning in the quarterfinals of the Phoenix Challenger in three sets in 2019.
Goffin Returns After Adductor Injury
David Goffin pulled out from last week’s participation at the Madrid Masters due to an adductor injury. The nature of Goffin’s injury stemmed up from the Barcelona Open where he retired midway through his match against Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie.
Goffin’s cautious approach meant that he flew back to Belgium for tests and then straight to Rome, and proceeded to take a week’s rest so as not to aggravate the muscles.
The timing of this injury could not have come at a worse time for the Belgian. Luckily for him, test results indicate an elongation rather than a tear.
He had looked to hit peak form as he gears up for the second Grand Slam of the year at the French Open. A run to the quarterfinal of the Monte Carlo Masters, which included wins over Marin Cilic, Marco Cecchinato, and Alexander Zverev served as a reminder of how Goffin’s counterpunching abilities on clay are not to be underestimated.
The World No. 13 is a three-time quarterfinalist in Rome and has a very kind opening round draw.
Caruso in Woeful Form Ahead of Home Tournament
Salvatore Caruso’s wildcard entrant poses questions on the meritocracy of wildcards granted by the tournament organizers. The Italian has been woeful since the conclusion of the Australian summer series, losing in the first round of five of his six subsequent tournaments.
Caruso’s form leaves a lot to be desired, and his record in Rome does not make for a pretty interesting reading. His two previous main draw appearances yielded a solitary win which came last year when he beat Tennys Sandgren.
It is imperative that the 28-year-old rebounds from his dismal run of form, but can it happen at the expense of an upset win against David Goffin? Caruso does have a winning record against the Belgian, but that came at a Challenger event in the early part of the season in 2019.
Goffin v Caruso Prediction and Tip
The biggest concern should be Goffin’s fitness coming into this match. Adductor injuries can cause serious pain and hamper a player’s movement. Assuming the issue does not flare-up, the Belgian should progress with minimal fuss.