ATP Rome Masters Day 1 Predictions Including Taylor Fritz vs Stefano Travaglia

Stefano Travagli in action ahead of the Rome Masters

The 2020 Italian Open in Rome will be the only ATP Masters 1000 event which will precede the French Open, due to a major reshuffle of the tennis calendar as a result of COVID-19. The makeshift schedule will also see the Rome Masters have a Monday final.

Day 1 will see the conclusion of qualifying action from Foro Italico, and a handful of first round matches too. 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 Dominik Koepfer vs Mikhail Kukushkin, Borna Coric vs Cristian Garin and Kei Nishikori vs Albert Ramos Vinolas. But who will thrust their names in the main draw and who will advance into the second round?

ATP Rome Masters Day 1 Predictions

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina vs Corentin Moutet (Qualifying)

Head-to-head: first meeting

Davidovich Fokina has broken new ground in the last 18 months and entered the Rome qualifying field in quite possibly the best shape in his burgeoning young career after reaching the fourth round of the US Open. He took out a fine clay-court player in Juan Ignacio Londero in the first round of qualifying and then demolished Japan’s Yuichi Sugita 6-0 6-1 in 57 minutes on Sunday.

His task towards a main draw debut at Foro Italico will get slightly harder when he faces world no.77 Corentin Moutet. The Frenchman made a tremendous start to 2020 when he streaked into the final in Doha as a qualifier, beating the top seed Stan Wawrinka in the semifinals before losing to Andrey Rublev in the championship match. He has since maintained that decent spell of good form with a quarterfinal in Cordoba and third round showing at the US Open being his major highlights of this truncated tennis season.

Both these players bring variety to the table. Davidovich Fokina has one of the longest names of any tennis player, but he keeps everything short in his game. From deft touches to the cheeky underarm serves, it seems there is not a dull moment when the young Spaniard plays. Still though, this could be a much sterner test which he will pass.
Prediction: Davidovich Fokina in 3

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Lorenzo Musetti vs Giulio Zeppieri (Qualifying)

Head-to-head: first meeting

This is massive opportunity for either of these players born in the 2000s to stake their claim and reach the main draw of aMasters 1000 event. Musetti, at No.258 in the world, is the more accomplished of the two Italian teenagers and ranks almost 100 spots above his fellow countryman. He beat two-time ATP titlist Leonardo Mayer in the second round of qualifying and seems primed to reach the main draw in Rome at the second attempt.
Prediction: Musetti in 2

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Marin Cilic vs Alexander Bublik

Head-to-head: first meeting

Marin Cilic has struggled for consistency since the beginning of last season. The Croat’s mounting knee problems caused his big fall from grace. Cilic’s 2019 season was a disaster to say the least. It was a campaign that saw his ranking reach its lowest mark since 2013 (at world No.39) and he failed to win a title for the first time in 12 years. It is very difficult to assess his performance and results in 2020 given the nature of this truncated tennis year, but he still remains a perennial danger on any surface when his game is firing on all cylinders. Alexander Bublik is unlikely to strike fear ,especially on clay where his record is modest.
Prediction: Cilic in 2

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Taylor Fritz vs Stefano Travaglia

Head-to-head: Fritz 0-1 Travaglia

Taylor Fritz will find himself competing at the ATP Rome Masters for the fourth year running, but the scenario could have been very much different had he progressed into the second week of the just-concluded US Open. The American had never before reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam, and he had destiny on his racket when he served for the match at 5-3 in the fourth set against Denis Shapovalov. However, he played a dud game and was broken by the Canadian who won the set in a tiebreak and eventually wrestled control of the match.

The 22-year-old San Diego native will need to bounce back very quickly on his first outing on clay when he plays Italian wildcard Stefano Travaglia. The 28-year-old has had little success on the main tour, recording just a pair of victories all year. But incidentally, one of those wins came against Fritz at the ATP Cup in a singles rubber in January.

This has the makings of an upset. Travaglia brings much-needed sharpness on clay following a semifinal run at the Prostejov Challenger in Czech Republic just a few days ago, while Fritz must be fuming with himself at the failed attempt to reach the US Open fourth round.
Prediction: Travaglia in 3

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