Day 3 at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Rome will feature plenty of exciting action, with 10-time champion Rafael Nadal beginning his campaign as he looks to pick up steam ahead of Roland Garros. Aside from the Spaniard, there’ll be plenty of other top players and exciting matchups on offer at Foro Italico.
ATP Masters 1000 Rome Day 3 Predictions
Marin Cilic vs Cameron Norrie
Head-to-head: Norrie 1-0 Cilic
This is a very hard match to call; although Norrie is the higher ranked player, Cilic has a much higher pedigree and the weapons to overpower the Brit on a good day. After a prolonged slump, Cilic has shown signs of returning to something relatively close to his top level and he certainly has the game to beat Norrie here. After all, he came very close to beating Alexander Zverev last week in Madrid, before the German made the finals in the Spanish capital.
Prediction: Cilic in 3
David Goffin vs Jenson Brooksby
Head-to-head: first meeting
Although Brooksby is higher ranked at the moment, the surface makes Goffin a clear favorite for this one. The Belgian has been in good form lately after a disastrous spell, having won the title in Marrakech and made the last 16 in both Monte Carlo and Madrid. Last week in the Spanish capital he suffered a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of Rafael Nadal, wasting four match points in the process, but he put that behind him quickly with a straight sets win over Hurcazc in his Rome opener.
Brooksby on the other hand has been looking like a fish out of the water clay so far this year and, based on his showings so far, shouldn’t be able to put up much resistance against the Belgian.
Prediction: Goffin in 2
Rafael Nadal vs John Isner
Head-to-head: Nadal 7-1 Isner
Despite the seemingly lopsided head-to-head, Isner has actually caused Nadal a lot of issues: he’s one of the few men to ever take him to 5 sets at Roland Garros and came close to beating him on a few other occasions as well. With his unbelievable serve, Isner always has the potential to cause problems and upset the top ranked players so this is far from an easy opening match for Nadal.
However, the American hasn’t shown signs of his best form so far this year and even in his first round match against Cerundolo he got broken and faced eight break points. This does not bode well for his chances against Nadal, whose record at this tournament simply defies belief: 10 titles, 12 finals and only one loss before the quarterfinal stage. Isner could potentially snag a tiebreak, but Nadal will most likely pull through here.
Prediction: Nadal in 2
Main Photo from Getty.