The preparations for this year’s delayed French Open begin in earnest this week, with almost all of the top players in the world competing at the Rome Masters. Who will advance on Day 1? We look at all the matches for you. In addition to this article, we have four more predicting the Rome Masters matches.
Rome Masters Day 1 Predictions
Benoit Paire vs Jannik Sinner
Head-to-head: 1-0 Paire
One of the more exciting first round match ups features one of the most exciting young talents in the ATP against the always entertaining veteran. Paire will be excited to play his first tour matches of the year on the his favorite surface, with all three of his career titles coming on clay. Sinner has played fairly well in his limited match experience on clay, and is hoping to string several match wins together which he has struggled to do this year. Paire has more experience and is the better player right now, Sinner is talented and undoubtedly has a chance to win if he limits errors and successfully plays aggressive tennis, but Paire is more comfortable on the surface and will take care of business.
Prediction: Paire in 3
Tennys Sandgren vs Joao Sousa
Head-to-head: 1-0 Sousa
Although Sandgren has been known for his standout performances at the Australian Open, he has said that his favorite surface is clay, though he has not had great results on the surface. Sousa has always played his best on clay, though he looks to be nearing the end of his career and had won just one match all season before arriving in Rome. This match could probably go either way, but Sandgren is the more in-form player and will be looking to bounce back in Rome after a tough draw at the US Open. Sousa’s comfort on the surface will keep it competitive, but Sandgren will take the match in the end.
Prediction: Sandgren in 2
Andrej Martin vs Pedro Martinez
Head-to-head: first meeting
This final round qualifying match should be a good one with another old vs young match up. Martinez showed his potential on clay with a string of good results in the Spring clay court swing earlier this year. Martin has had a good run so far in Rome, beating a good clay courter in Daniel Elahi Galan in round one then cruising past Jeremy Chardy in round two. Martinez has had a bit of an easier draw but has won convincingly. Martinez beat two top-100 players in the last clay court tournament he played in Rio, and will beat another in Martin to reach the main draw in Rome.
Prediciton: Martinez in 3
Filip Krajinovic vs Felix Auger-Aliassime
The most exciting match of the first round pits together two players who have both been in strong form. Coming off third and fourth round results at the US Open, the transition to clay is always tough, espcially with neither player having a large amount of experience on the surface. Krajinovic is the veteran with a lot of experience who seems to be peaking early, but he has been given a tough match up against the talented Canadian who seems to be finding his best form. Auger-Aliassime has had better results on clay than the Serbian in his short career, and his younger legs will make the challenging transition easier and he will start strong with a win in Rome.
Prediction: Auger-Aliassime in 2
Main Photo from Getty.