It’s been a wild week of ATP tennis in Rio de Janeiro. Rain has wreaked havoc on the tournament, but we’re left with a blockbuster final between Diego Schwartzman and Carlos Alcaraz. A generational battle between one of the best clay court players over the last few years and a rising star of the game. Schwartzman will be playing for his second Rio title, his fifth ATP Singles title overall. Whilst Alcaraz will be playing for his second and biggest ATP title, having won his first and only ATP title at the ATP 250 event in Umag last year. Who will lift the trophy in Rio?
ATP Rio Final Prediction
Diego Schwartzman vs Carlos Alcaraz
H2H: First meeting.
Diego Schwartzman came through one of the toughest days of his career to reach the final in Rio. Schwartzman needed 3 hours and 33 minutes to defeat Pablo Andujar 7-6 4-6 6-4 in the quarterfinals, before returning to the courts later in the day to defeat Francisco Cerundolo 7-6 6-3 in two hours and two minutes. That’s over five and half hours on court in one day, but it was worth it in the end to reach the final.
Carlos Alcaraz also completed two matches on Saturday. However, they were far less exhausting than Schwartzman’s exploits. Alcaraz completed a 6-2 2-6 6-2 win over the top seeded Matteo Berrettini in the quarterfinals before defeating Fabio Fognini 6-2 7-5 to secure a spot in Sunday’s championship match. It’s been a great week for the 18-year-old, who also completed wins over Jaume Munar and Federico Delbonis.
This promises to be a close match, an argument can be made for both players. Alcaraz is surely the fresher of the two heading into this match, giving him the physical edge. Experience is on Schwartzman’s side. Schwartzman has won this tournament and has vastly more experience on the biggest stages. Tennis wise, it’s pretty equal. Alcaraz has explosive firepower, more firepower than Schwartzman possesses. But Schwartzman is relentless and absorbs pace better than most.
I’m going to side with the Spaniard here. Schwartzman must be running on fumes after playing so much tennis with less than 24 hours to recover for this match. Schwartzman relies on his fitness more than most, whilst Alcaraz has the strength to make him pay.
Prediction: Alcaraz in 2
Main Photo from Getty.