ATP Rome Masters Day 2 Predictions Including Miomir Kecmanovic vs Aslan Karatsev

Alexander Bublik in action ahead of the ATP Rome Masters.
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There should be plenty of entertaining tennis on day two at the ATP Rome Masters, with the tournament set to get underway in earnest with 13 first-round matches. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate, including Kei Nishikori vs Fabio Fognini and Ugo Humbert vs Jannik Sinner. But who will reach the second round?

ATP Rome Masters Day 2 Predictions

Dan Evans vs Taylor Fritz

Head-to-head: Fritz 1-0 Evans

After making an excellent start to the European clay-court swing with a semifinal showing in Monte Carlo, a run that included a statement win over world #1 Novak Djokovic, Dan Evans form has cooled off. The Briton, who started the year with just two career clay-court wins at tour-level, lost to Corentin Moutet in the first round in Barcelona before falling in the third round at the ATP Madrid Open to eventual champion Alexander Zverev in straight sets.

Taylor Fritz, meanwhile, is looking for his first win since beating Aljaz Bedene in the quarterfinals in Cagliari. The American still does not look particularly comfortable on the clay, although his solid baseline game and powerful serve gives him a platform to build towards success on the surface, as evidenced by his run to the third round at Roland Garros last season. Still, at least in comparison, Evans is the form player. Expect the Briton to have the edge here.

Prediction: Evans in 3
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Miomir Kecmanovic vs Aslan Karatsev

Head-to-head: first meeting

Miomir Kecmanovic’s decision to start working with David Nalbandian unsurprisingly captured a fair number of headlines, but that has not yet translated into tangible on-court success. Indeed, the Serbian young gun is in something of a slump. He did reach the quarterfinals on home turf in Belgrade, but wins have otherwise been few and far between, with John Isner proving too strong for the 21-year-old in the first round at the ATP Madrid Open.

Aslan Karatsev has no such concerns. The Russian is enjoying the best season of his career by a country mile and will surely be full of confidence coming into this match. He has looked more effective on faster courts, with his best results coming in Melbourne and Dubai, but he has shown that he can mix it with the best of them on the clay, beating Djokovic in Belgrade and Diego Schwartzman last week in Madrid. He should be able to account for Kecmanovic without too many problems.

Prediction: Karatsev in 2
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Karen Khachanov vs Federico Delbonis

Head-to-head: Delbonis 1-0 Khachanov

This feels like a very important match for Karen Khachanov. The Russian has broadly struggled to live up to the early promise he showed in winning the ATP Paris Masters in 2018 and currently finds himself marooned outside the world’s top 20 having won just 11 of the 20 matches he has played so far in 2021. Coincidentally Federico Delbonis, his first-round opponent at the ATP Rome Masters, owns an identical record for this season, with neither man in particularly impressive form.

If this is an important match for Khachanov, it is not one he can be assured of winning. Delbonis can be a dangerous opponent on the clay thanks to a powerful, if occasionally wayward, serve and a forehand he can hit with heavy topspin. In fact, he won their only previous meeting on the clay in Hamburg. Nonetheless, this is a match Khachanov should be winning. He has the more reliable groundstrokes and can summon more power from the baseline than the Argentine.

Prediction: Khachanov in 3
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Marin Cilic vs Alexander Bublik

Head-to-head: Cilic 1-0 Bublik

When this pair met barely six months ago at this event in the first round, Marin Cilic carved out a narrow three-set win. This time around, one suspects he would be more than happy with a repeat. Unfortunately, it looks like a tall order for the Croatian. Alexander Bublik arrives at the ATP Rome Masters in fine form having reached the quarterfinals in Madrid, upsetting Denis Shapovalov and Aslan Karatsev en route to the last eight.

Cilic, in contrast, continues to stumble. He did take advantage of a relatively weak draw to reach the semifinals in Estoril, but was beaten there by Cameron Norrie, hardly a clay-court heavyweight. There has been precious little else to celebrate for the world #43, with his US Open triumph in 2014 receding further and further into the distance. He has the power to keep this competitive, but with Bublik full of confidence, the unorthodox Kazakh should have the edge here.

Prediction: Bublik in 3

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