World number one Novak Djokovic begins his Italian Open campaign against the number one ranked American Taylor Fritz on Tuesday, May 11. Get the live streaming options of this Novak Djokovic v Taylor Fritz match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Novak Djokovic v Taylor Fritz Head to Head
The players have met three times thus far, with Djokovic winning all their meetings. They met twice on clay in 2019, at Monte Carlo and in Madrid with straight set wins for the Serb. Fritz pushed Djokovic to five sets at the Australian Open this year in the third round, but the world number one prevailed 6-2 in the fifth.
Djokovic Eager For Deep Run On Clay
Five-time Rome Masters winner and defending champion Novak Djokovic is in search of a second Roland Garros win and a 19th major title next month. More immediately, he is looking to get his clay season momentum going as that has not been the case thus far.
After being undefeated at the ATP Cup and registering a ninth Aussie Open title at the start of the season, the Serb skipped the rest of the first quarter of the year due to an abdominal tear he picked up during the Melbourne slam. Returning to the tour for the clay swing, it has been an underwhelming couple of tournaments for the world number one thus far.
Mid- week losses to Dan Evans in Monte Carlo and Aslan Karatsev in his home town of Belgrade were atypical for Djokovic and have not been the ideal clay court preparation for the French Open thus far. Choosing to skip the Madrid Masters, Djokovic is likely to play at the ATP 250 next week in Belgrade again, but with a draw as stacked as Rome, it would do wonders to his clay court season if he could make a run and defend his 2020 tile.
Is Fritz Good Enough Yet For The Serb on Clay?
23-year-old Taylor Fritz is ranked just outside the top 30 in the world at the moment and is the highest ranked American player on the tour right now. With his only ATP title on grass in 2019, it has been a mixed 2021 for Fritz thus far.
The season Down Under and the indoor and hard court season thereafter saw some good performances including a semi-final showing at the Doha ATP 250 and a spirited third round loss at the Aussie Open to Novak Djokovic. Coming to the slower clay swing, a semi-final showing at Sardegna Open was a promising start, but opening round losses at both Monte Carlo and Madrid would have been setbacks for Fritz.
Up against the in-form Briton Dan Evans in his opener here in Rome, Fritz was broken early but came back strong with a good all-round performance for a 6-3, 6-2 victory. A win against Evans who defeated Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo last month will be a confidence booster for the American on the clay as Fritz gets ready to face Djokovic himself in the next round.
Djokovic v Fritz Prediction and Tip
Fritz has gone from strength to strength in recent times and established himself as the leading American player, but he is up on the slower surface against the world number one and the challenge is likely to be uphill. Expect Fritz to challenge Djokovic, but the world number one should prevail in straight sets.