ATP Rome Masters Day 5 Predictions Including Denis Shapovalov vs Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal in action at the ATP Rome Masters.
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It looks set to be a bumper fifth day at the ATP Rome Masters with a number of star names set to take to the court. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate, including Novak Djokovic vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. But who will book their place in the quarterfinals in the Eternal City?

ATP Rome Masters Day 5 Predictions

Reilly Opelka vs Aslan Karatsev

Head-to-head: first meeting

A player cannot have often found themselves ranked inside the top 30 with only 24 ATP-level wins to their name, but Aslan Karatsev does not appear to be having a career like most players. The Russian has now won 21 matches on the ATP Tour this season, reaching the last four at the Australian Open, winning the title in Dubai and making the final in Belgrade, where he beat Djokovic. He has claimed another big scalp this week in Rome, thrashing his compatriot Daniil Medvedev in the second round.

Reilly Opelka has also looked sharp so far this week. Much like his compatriot John Isner, Opelka’s huge serve and formidable power work well on slow clay courts, with the American scoring very creditable straight-sets wins over Richard Gasquet and Lorenzo Musetti. But Karatsev looks like he will take some stopping this week and will be better equipped to take the game to Opelka than the Frenchman and Italian were. Expect plenty of winners, but for Karatsev to come out on top.

Prediction: Karatsev in 3
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Matteo Berrettini vs Stefanos Tsitsipas

Head-to-head: Tsitsipas 2-0 Berrettini

It is a testament to just how loaded the draws are at Masters 1000 events that this pair are meeting as early as the third round. Matteo Berrettini arrived at his hometown event fresh from reaching his first Masters 1000 final in Madrid where he was narrowly beaten by Alexander Zverev. But he bounced back from that disappointment impressively against Nikoloz Basilashvili, beating the Georgian from a set down in the first round. He backed that up by dismissing the Australian John Millman 6-4 6-2.

Stefanos Tsitsipas has been in more impressive form still, winning the title in Monte Carlo before reaching the final in Barcelona. He did lose in the last eight in Madrid, but played well to beat Marin Cilic 7-5 6-2 in his opener at the ATP Rome Masters after a first-round bye. Both men like to go for their shots, with neither short of power. But Tsitsipas has the more rounded game, which goes some way to explaining why he has won both of their previous meetings. Expect him to make it a hat-trick of victories.

Prediction: Tsitsipas in 3
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Alexander Zverev vs Kei Nishikori

Head-to-head: Zverev 3-1 Nishikori

This looks to have the makings of another entertaining match. Zverev made an assured start to his ATP Rome Masters campaign, beating Hugo Dellien for the loss of only four games to extend his winning streak to six matches after his run to the ATP Madrid Open title. His week in the Spanish capital included a 6-3 6-2 win over Kei Nishikori in the second round, but the Japanese’s chances should not be entirely discounted.

He has a good record in the Italian capital and played well to beat Fabio Fognini 6-3 6-4 in the first round, before Pablo Carreno Busta’s withdrawal sent him into the last 16. He has also beaten Zverev on clay in the past, getting the better of the German in three sets in 2018 at the ATP Monte Carlo Masters. That said, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the Japanese is not the force he once was. Expect Zverev to be able to overpower him once again.

Prediction: Zverev in 2
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Denis Shapovalov vs Rafael Nadal

Head-to-head: Nadal 2-1 Shapovalov

When this pair first met in 2017, it was one of the matches of the year as Denis Shapovalov thrilled the Montreal crowd by upsetting Rafael Nadal in three sets at the ATP Rogers Cup. That performance seemed to be the moment a star announced himself, but whilst Shapovalov has made impressive strides since, he has perhaps been surpassed by some of his contemporaries. Still, he has played well so far this week, thrashing Kamil Majchrzak before beating Stefano Travaglia 7-6 6-3.

But impressive as those performances were, it is still hard to see him getting past Nadal. The Spaniard faced a tough opening test up against Jannik Sinner, but battled past the Italian 7-5 6-4 after over two hours on court. One suspects he will have an easier time of things against the Canadian. Shapovalov has many qualities, but he has played Nadal on clay in Rome before and he won just five games. He may well manage more this time around, but this should be a relatively comfortable outing for Nadal.

Prediction: Nadal in 2

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