Day 4 of the ATP Masters 1000 event in Rome is here! It’s been an incredible week of tennis so far and look for the high-quality play to continue on Wednesday in Italy! Who will win and who will fall short? Read on for my best guesses! We also have predictions for the rest of the day’s matches, between two other articles. One features Denis Shapovalov vs Stefano Travagila and the second features Jannik Sinner vs Rafael Nadal.
ATP Rome Day 4 Predictions
Matteo Berrettini vs John Millman
Head to Head: never played
Matteo Berrettini did well to put a long week in Madrid behind him, coming back from a set down to take out Nikoloz Basilashvili in Rome. Berrettini took his chances when he had the opportunity, as he broke on 4 of the 5 break points Basilashvili faced. John Millman took down a struggling Dusan Lajovic in straight sets. Millman held Lajovic to 40% second serves won and won 72% of the points on his own serve.
These two have never played before. Berrettini is clealy the better player overall and on clay, but is fatigued from a run to the final of Madrid. Millman’s clay court game is not impressive, but he will put a lot of balls in play and force Berrettini to work hard to beat him. However, Berrettini has much more power on both his serve and groundstrokes and the backhand slice should effectively get the ball out of Millman’s strike zone. I like Berrettini to continue on in Rome.
Prediction: Berrettini in 3
Marton Fucsovics vs Dominic Thiem
Head to Head: 3-0 Thiem
Marton Fucsovics started off his Rome campaign with a dominant win over lucky loser Yoshihito Nishioka. Fucsovics held Nishioka to 42% service points won while winning 78% of the points on his own serve. Dominic Thiem had a successful return to the ATP Tour in Madrid, reaching the semifinals. While Thiem didn’t look like he was back up to full speed in Madrid, he played a solid tournament.
Thiem leads the head to head 3-0, winning all 3 matches on clay and in straight sets. In their most recent matchup in 2019 Hamburg, Thiem won 93% of his first serve points and wasn’t broken. Fucsovics is solid from the baseline and gets the ball deep in the court, but Thiem’s baseline power from both wings and clay court craft should be too much to handle. Thiem moves on.
Prediction: Thiem in 3
Andrey Rublev vs Jan-Lennard Struff
Head to Head: tied 2-2 (non-exhibition)
Andrey Rublev had a relatively disappointing Madrid campaign, losing to John Isner in his second match. Rublev just couldn’t get much of a read on the Isner first serve, with the American winning 81% of his first serve points. Jan-Lennard Struff played a great match to comfortably beat Aljaz Bedene. The German wasn’t broken and won 52% of the points on the Bedene serve.
The head to head is tied 2-2, with Struff leading 1-0 on clay in non-exhibition events. However, Rublev will have the clear advantage in this match. In their most recent matchup this year at the ATP Cup, Rublev came back from a set down to win the match. He won 84% of his first serve points and held Struff to 25% second serves won. Struff’s level can vary wildly from match-to-match and Rublev is the steadier player with the more reliable game. Expect Rublev to move on in Rome.
Prediction: Rublev in 2
Marin Cilic vs Stefanos Tsitsipas
Head to Head: 1-0 Cilic
Marin Cilic had a successful start to Rome, coming back from a set down to beat Alexander Bublik. Cilic won 81% of his first serve points and was only broken once during the match. Stefanos Tsitsipas is playing his first match in Rome after a loss to Casper Ruud in Madrid’s round of 16. Tsitsipas was not able to put up much resistance on return, with Ruud winning 74% of his service points and not facing a break point.
Cilic leads the head to head 1-0, but that was in 2017 on a hard court, so irrelevant for this matchup. Despite some more success recently, Cilic is not a great clay court player. The inconsistent bounces and more movement-centric game that clay provides don’t align with Cilic’s strengths. Cilic, however, is serving well and will try to control the baseline as best as he can. Tsitsipas is having a great clay court season and is really dominant from the baseline, dictating play with ease. He is much more comfortable on clay and should be able to force Cilic out of his comfort zone in this match and get him to defend a lot. Tsitsipas advances.
Prediction: Tsitsipas in 2
Main Photo from Getty.