ATP Rome Masters Day 4 Predictions Including Kei Nishikori vs Lorenzo Musetti

Casper Ruud in action ahead of the ATP Rome Masters

Day four at the ATP Rome Masters sees a number of star names set to take to the courts at the Foro Italico and, as ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate, including Pedro Martinez vs Denis Shapovalov. But who will book their place in the third round in the Italian capital?

ATP Rome Masters Day Four Predictions

Kei Nishikori vs Lorenzo Musetti

Head-to-head: first meeting

In what is surely the most intriguing match of the fourth day at the ATP Rome Masters, Kei Nishikori will take on Italian wildcard Lorenzo Musetti. Nishikori may prefer hard courts, but the Japanese is very comfortable on clay, having three times reached the last eight at the French Open as well as the final in both Madrid and Monte Carlo. Injuries have limited the amount he has played so far this season, but that has allowed him more time than most to focus on preparing for the clay-court season.

Musetti, meanwhile, was likely something of an unknown quality to many before this week. But after an impressive run through the qualifying, the Italian stunned three-time Major champion Stan Wawrinka in the first round. However, it is never easy to back-up such a big win, particularly for a player as young as Musetti. The experienced Nishikori, who proved too strong for Albert Ramos Vinolas in the first round, should be able to take advantage of any drop in Musetti’s level.

Prediction: Nishikori in 3
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Dominik Koepfer vs Gael Monfils

Head-to-head: first meeting

Gael Monfils rarely fails to entertain, although the absence of a crowd might see him rein in his antics a little. But a more disciplined approach may serve him well against the qualifier Dominik Koepfer, who scored an impressive first-round win over Alex de Minaur, although the Australian did arrive in Italy having had relatively little time to prepare for the clay-court season after playing in the United States. Monfils, who elected not to travel to New York should have no such problems.

Koepfer has also had little success against the game’s best, with the German yet to claim a top-ten win. Monfils may, of course, be slightly rusty, with the Frenchman having not played since losing to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals at the Dubai Tennis Championships, whereas the German has already played four matches in Rome. But all four have gone the distance, which suggests that fatigue could be an issue for Koepfer. Expect the fresher Monfils to take the match.

Prediction: Monfils in 2
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Fabio Fognini vs Ugo Humbert

Head-to-head: first meeting

Ugo Humbert has enjoyed an excellent, if abbreviated, 2020 season, highlighted by his run to the title at the Auckland Open. That triumph helped the Frenchman, who also reached the fourth round at Wimbledon last year, break into the world’s top 50 in March, a position he has maintained since. In the first round at the ATP Rome Masters, he proved too good for Kevin Anderson, beating the South African in straight sets, 6-3 7-6.

But that was just the second win of his career on this surface at tour-level. Fabio Fognini, in contrast, has an excellent record on the clay, last year winning the Monte Carlo Masters. But the Italian is not one of the ATP Tour’s most consistent performers and won just three games on his return to action last week in Kitzbuhel. That continued Fognini’s run of disappointing results in 2020 and there is little reason to think he will turn it around in Rome.

Prediction: Humbert in 3
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Casper Ruud vs Lorenzo Sonego

Head-to-head: first meeting

Both Casper Ruud and Lorenzo Sonego scored impressive upsets in the first round. Ruud beat 11th seed Karen Khachanov in three, whilst Sonego brushed aside former-Hamburg Open champion Nikoloz Basilashvili for the loss of only four games. Those wins have seen their section of the draw open up and both men will surely now be looking to take advantage. But it may be the Norwegian Ruud who is better placed to capitalise.

He has excelled on the clay this year, winning the first tour-level title of his career during the Golden Swing in Buenos Aires and backing that up by reaching the final in Santiago. Sonego is also generally at his best on this surface, but he has struggled so far in 2020 and arrived at the ATP Rome Masters having lost in the first round at two of the three clay-court events he had played this season. This may be a close content nonetheless, but it would be a surprise if Ruud did not come out on top.

Prediction: Ruud in 2

Main photo:
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