World number one Novak Djokovic meets Casper Ruud of Norway in the semi-finals of the 2022 ATP Rome Open on Saturday, May 14. 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
The players have met twice with Djokovic winning both times. They first met at the same (semi-final) stage in Rome in 2020 and then during the round robin stages of the 2021 ATP Tour Finals in Turin.
‘Vintage’ Djokovic Returning In Time for French Open
World number one Novak Djokovic has not had the best of seasons, beginning with his controversial dismissal from the Australian Open, followed by a third round loss in Dubai, and then not playing the Sunshine Masters due to vaccine rules in the US.
The clay swing was not the kindest to the defending champion at Roland Garros with a loss in the Monte Carlo opener to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and then being pushed to three setters in all his matches in Belgrade before a loss in the finals to Andrey Rublev, including a 0-6 third set.
Djokovic looked to be hitting good form last week in Madrid before losing an epic semi-final to the rising Spanish teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz.
With an excellent record here in Rome, it has been vintage Novak Djokovic in the opening rounds with straight set wins against Aslan Karatsev and Stanislas Wawrinka.
In a record 16th quarter -final in as many appearances here in Rome, the world number one put out a stiff contest against Canadian Next Gen Felix Auger- Aliassime.
Djokovic had a chance to serve out both sets up a break but got broken each time serving for the set. While he broke back again up 6-5 to clinch the first set, it was a near perfect 7-1 tiebreak in the second that saw him through to the final four for the tenth time here in Rome
With a record 370th week as world number one in the bag, the Serb will be looking for a title run here now to cap the ideal warm-up ahead of defending his French Open title.
Ruud Restores Clay Form
The 2022 season began well for Casper Ruud winning the title in Buenos Aires and being runner-up in Miami. Coming to the European clay swing, it has not been easy going for the Norwegian.
Losses to Grigor Dimitrov at Monte Carlo, Pablo Carreno Busta in Barcelona and Van de Zandshulp in Munich all but sowed seeds of doubt in Ruud’s mind and suddenly one of the best clay court players of 2021 was desperately seeking confidence boosting wins.
It was not the easiest of starts here in Rome either for Ruud who started his campaign against Botic van de Zandschulp who he had a 0-2 head-to-head against him and it was another three-setter with the Norwegian prevailing this time.
Ruud has increased in form and confidence since then, with a convincing win against Jason Brooksby and then a hard fought win against Denis Shapovalov who was high on morale after his quarter-final win against Rafael Nadal.
Back in good touch on the clay, Ruud is now up against it facing the 20-time grand slam title holder and world number one Novak Djokovic
Djokovic v Ruud Prediction and Tip
Both Djokovic and Ruud did not start the clay season to their liking, looking rusty and facing losses they would have not expected for themselves ahead of time.
However, both players seem to be returning to good nick just in time for the French Open. While the Ruud forehand can trouble anyone, it is the balance of the world number one on both sides that will make the difference.
Expect Djokovic to attack the double handed backhand of Ruud after initially feeling the form out and then it should be one-way traffic for the world number one.
The Serb to make another Rome final in straight sets.