ATP Rome Masters Day 1 Predictions Including Borna Coric vs Cristian Garin

Cristian Garin in action ahead of the Rome Masters
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The 2020 edition of the ATP Rome Masters will be interesting not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic and regulations as a result, but also the new challenges presented by the compressed ATP calendar. Generally there is some time for players to transition their bodies to clay, but Rome is directly following the US Open, and with the French Open beginning in just a week, it is the only opportunity for players making a deep run in New York to play a tune up. As ever, we here at LWOT will be bringing you all of the action, as well as offering our predictions for every match on day one in Italy, including Taylor Fritz vs Stefano Travaglia, Dominik Koepfer vs Mikhail Kukushkin and Kei Nishikori vs Albert Ramos Vinolas.

ATP Rome Masters Day 1 Predictions

Kevin Anderson vs Ugo Humbert

Head-to-head: first meeting

This match is one of the tougher matches to predict in the first round, namely because neither player has played a match on clay this season. Both players lost early in the US Open so have had time to adjust, but neither will be thrilled to be back on the clay. In his young career, Humbert has played a large majority of matches on hard courts, while Anderson with his huge serve is suited for the hard courts. Humbert started 2020 strong and captured his first ATP title in Aukland, but has since had a fairly difficult run of form. Anderson has continued to win matches with age, and has a respectable 55-48 career record on clay. Anderson is much more experienced on the surface and has been in better form and will win a close one against the Frenchman.
Prediction: Anderson in 3

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Dan Evans vs Hubert Hurkacz

Head-to-head: first meeting

Another match up with two players who have yet to play on clay this year, although both have had strong 2020s so far with plenty of match wins. Hurkacz being the younger player will likely adjust to the new surface a little better, though he has not had much success at all on clay in his young career. Evans has not been much of a clay-court player either, but he does have more experience and has played with something to prove since returning from his one year suspension from tennis. Evans has made the most of many of his opportunities to continue to gain ranking points, and his more experience on clay will give him the edge in what will likely be a close, competitive match in the first round at the ATP Rome Masters.
Prediction: Evans in 3

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Lorenzo Sonego vs Nikoloz Basilashvili

Head-to-head: first meeting

Both players have been looking forward to the return to clay courts, with Sonego winning the only two matches he has all year on clay, and Basilashvili finally playing his second match of the year on his best surface where he has won two of his three titles. Sonego did make the quarterfinal in Rio, but he has yet to win a match at any other tournament this year, and while comfortable on clay, it does not stand out as his best surface. Basilashvili has the advantage of playing in Kitzbuhel last week, and even though he lost his first round match, the ability to play a competitive match on clay could be a key factor in his comfort coming into Rome. Basilashvili is the better player, comes in with better form, and has a match on clay last week under his belt. These give him the edge and he should win comfortably in straights.
Prediction: Basilashvili in 2

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Borna Coric vs Cristian Garin

Head-to-head: 1-1

The two talented players will be a bit disappointed to meet in the first round, with their last meeting coming in the Rio semifinal, won in straight sets by Garin. Garin will be one of the most excited players to return to clay, already capturing two titles on clay this year to bring his total to four trophies, all won on clay. Coric is a good all-surface player but his game does not particular stand out on clay, but he will not be an easy out for anyone. Overall, Garin is a top talent on clay courts and Coric will have to adjust quickly after his deep run at the US Open, giving Garin too much of an edge to overcome.
Prediction: Garin in 2

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