Day 2 of the ATP Rome Masters 1000 brings us back a couple of former top players on the mend, namely Borna Coric and Dominic Thiem. We’ll see whether they can take the next step in their nascent comebacks, and we’ll make our picks for several matches below, including Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Dan Evans.
ATP Rome Day 2 Predictions
Borna Coric vs Laslo Djere
Head-to-head: Coric 0-1 Djere
Coric is on the long road to recovery, having played just a few matches this year after an extended injury layoff. I imagine he is trying just to get his game back together as opposed to expecting to make a run in a tournament. Djere is a competent clay courter, although he’s been only mediocre this year. Coric, in his few matches this year, has alternately taken top players to three sets, and then followed that with a loss in Round 32 of a Challenger. It would appear the ceiling is still very high, though the floor is low at the moment. Djere should come away with this, but Coric’s high-level capabilities give me a little pause.
Prediction: Djere in 3
Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Dan Evans
Head-to-head: Basilashvili 0-1 Evans
A battle of two struggling players. Basilashvili hasn’t looked good all year, and Evans hasn’t looked good since January. The Georgian has a much higher win percentage on clay, and the Brit owns their lone H2H (on grass). Basilashvili has a few decent wins in Rome, while Evans is still searching for his first in four tries in the main draw. Evans has double the wins on the year, but both have struggled during clay season. Evans can be volatile in his performance, but I think he may handle the power of Basilashvili well enough, and that might be the edge. It’s hard to find any other foothold for a pick.
Prediction: Evans in 3
Dominic Thiem vs Fabio Fognini
Head-to-head: Thiem 3-1 Fognini
In years past, this would have been a great matchup. And not so long ago, Thiem would have been a very safe pick. But he is just getting back on his feet, and last we saw him he was being handled fairly easily by Andy Murray. Fognini isn’t making this pick easy, though, because despite an 11-7 record on the year, he hasn’t looked strong. But he is usually good for at least an early round win over weaker competition, and Thiem has yet to record a victory on the year (including a Challenger). Fognini’s lone win in the H2H was here in Rome in 2018, as well, and he figures to have crowd support. But it wouldn’t surprise me to see some slacking on the part of the Italian, and for Thiem to steal a set.
Prediction: Fognini in 3
Main Photo from Getty.