ATP Rome Masters Quarterfinal Predictions Including Rafael Nadal vs Diego Schwartzman

Rafael Nadal in action at the ATP Rome Masters

Just eight men remain in contention at the ATP Rome Masters after what has been a thrilling start to the men’s clay-court season in the Italian capital. And the exciting action should continue on quarterfinals day, with four intriguing matches on the slate. But who will book their place in the semifinals?

ATP Rome Masters Quarterfinal Predictions

Matteo Berrettini vs Casper Ruud

Head-to-head: Berrettini 1-1 Ruud

Italian #1 Matteo Berrettini has impressed so far at the ATP Rome Masters. After a first-round bye, he opened his campaign with a 7-5 6-1 win over Federico Coria of Argentina and he backed that up by edging past his countryman Stefano Travaglia in two tiebreaks. However, he is set to face a stern test in the last eight when he takes on Norway’s Casper Ruud, who has claimed excellent wins over 11th seed Karen Khachanov, Lorenzo Sonego and Marin Cilic so far this week.

Ruud also won this pair’s only previous clay-court meeting, which came in the second round at the French Open last season, in straight sets. Berrettini did avenge that defeat just over two weeks ago in the third round at the US Open and his clay-court prowess should not be underestimated. He has won two tour-level titles on the surface after all. But Ruud’s excellent court-coverage and accurate forehand should give him the edge in what promises to be a close battle.

Prediction: Ruud in 3
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Novak Djokovic vs Dominik Koepfer

Head-to-head: first meeting

After a fine win over Salvatore Caruso in his ATP Rome Masters opener, Novak Djokovic was made to work hard by his countryman Filip Krajinovic in the third round. But, although the great Serbian was not at his best in that match, he managed to come through it unscathed, beating Krajinovic 7-6 6-3 to secure his place in the quarterfinals. Waiting for him there is the qualifier Dominik Koepfer, who is enjoying a dream week in the Italian capital.

Koepfer, who last year reached the fourth round at the US Open, was taken the distance in all three rounds of qualifying, but dug deep to reach the main draw. He was then handed a tough first-round assignment up against Alex de Minaur, but edged out the Australian in three sets. Since then, he has been electric, beating fifth seed Gael Monfils and teenage sensation Lorenzo Musetti in straight sets. But will he be able to pull off what would surely be the upset of the season?

Probably not. Koepfer is a good mover and will give little away from the baseline. But it is hard to see how he will be able to hurt the world #1 on a consistent basis, particularly on the slow Italian clay. He might try to outlast Djokovic, but the Serbian has the weaponry to take that option away from Koepfer. His cross-court forehand is particularly effective on this surface, whilst his backhand down-the-line is always a shot to be feared. Expect him to prove too strong for the German.

Prediction: Djokovic in 2
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Denis Shapovalov vs Grigor Dimitrov

Head-to-head: Dimitrov 2-0 Shapovalov

Neither Denis Shapovalov nor Grigor Dimitrov are known for their clay-court tennis. But this should be a very watchable encounter between two all-court players who look to stay on the front foot. And whilst Dimitrov has historically struggled on clay, he has been in fine form so far at the ATP Rome Masters, beating Gianluca Mager and Yoshihito Nishioka, who won just one game, in straight sets before rallying from set down to oust the rising Italian star Jannik Sinner.

Shapovalov, meanwhile, who arrived in the Italian capital fresh from reaching his first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the US Open, has also looked unusually comfortable on the ‘terre battue’. He began his tournament with a comprehensive 6-2 6-3 win over Argentina’s Guido Pella before beating Pedro Martinez Portero of Spain 6-4 6-4. The 12th seeded Canadian was made to work harder for his third-round win, but mounted an impressive comeback to edge out Ugo Humbert 6-7 6-1 6-4.

He has, however, lost both of his previous meetings with Dimitrov. The first defeat, which came four years ago at the Rogers Cup, may not concern him, but the straight-sets loss earlier this year in Rotterdam almost certainly will. But he may have an advantage on the clay. He will be able to target Dimitrov’s weaker backhand wing in the cross-court exchanges with his powerful, topspin-heavy forehand, whilst Dimitrov can struggle to hit through opponents in slower conditions.

Prediction: Shapovalov in 3
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Rafael Nadal vs Diego Schwartzman

Head-to-head: Nadal 9-0 Schwartzman

Diego Schwartzman’s head-to-head with Rafael Nadal does not make pretty reading for the Argentine. They have met on nine occasions and Nadal has won all nine matches, dropping just two sets in the process. And to add to the gloom that is surely deepening in Schwartzman’s camp, Nadal has looked formidable so far at the ATP Rome Masters, brushing aside US Open semifinalist Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1 6-1 before hammering Dusan Lajovic 6-1 6-3.

Schwartzman has scored some creditable wins, beating John Millman 7-6 6-4 before coming back from a set down to beat Hubert Hurkacz 3-6 6-2 6-4. But there was little in either of those performances that suggested Schwartzman will manage to overcome the mighty Nadal. He is an excellent mover and a sweet timer of the ball, but he can neither outlast nor hit through Nadal. The Spaniard, in contrast, has the power off the ground to overwhelm Schwartzman.

Prediction: Nadal in 2

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