Day 5 of the ATP Rome Masters looks set to be an enthralling day of tennis. We’ve got mouth-watering clashes happening on every court throughout the day, with the sport’s biggest stars looking to cement a spot in the quarterfinals. As throughout the week, we will be offering up our predictions on who will be heading through. So, who comes out on top in Rome?
ATP Rome Day 5 Predictions
Karen Khachanov vs Stefanos Tsitsipas
Head-to-head: Tsitsipas 4 -0 Khachanov
Tsitsipas survived quite the scare against Grigor Dimitrov as he had to battle hard to get through a tricky encounter. The Greek served for the match in the second set but capitulated, and had to save match points in the third set. If Tsitsipas is to have a shot at winning here and in Paris, then he’ll need to raise his level. That said, he’s still a wonderful player on clay and he showed his class in the clutch moments today.
Khachanov has lost his form again, but has managed to get some good results on the clay. This week he’s notched up two good wins, including a great performance over Pablo Carreno Busta. However, this is probably where the road ends for him this week. Tsitsipas is far better on the red dirt and unless he puts in a shocking performance, he should have too much for Khachanov here.
Prediction: Tsitsipas in 2
Filip Krajinovic vs Jannik Sinner
Head-to-head: Sinner 1 – 0 Krajinovic
Krajinovic has never stood out on the clay but he’s done impressively well to defeat to Frances Tiafoe and Andrey Rublev. We know he’s capable of some excellent tennis but often lacks the ability to remain consistent. Sinner is still not quite at his best right now, but is still winning a lot of matches on a regular basis. It’s a real testament to how good he is when it truly matters.
Sinner’s win over Fabio Fognini now means that the Italian has reached the last 16 of every Masters. He’s looking more and more like a consummate professional each passing week, and he’ll be hoping to come up with a big week here in front of his home crowd. I can’t imagine he’ll be too troubled by the Serb here – he has much better offensive weapons as well as better defence and movement around the court. Expect Sinner to come through in two competitive sets.
Prediction: Sinner in 2
Jenson Brooksby vs Casper Ruud
Head-to-head: First meeting
This should be an interesting affair. Brooksby has looked a non-event so far on clay, but impressed in his second round encounter with David Goffin, whom he bageled in the first set. He’s one of the brightest talents in tennis and a positive week at a clay court masters would be fantastic for him. Unfortunately, he now faces one of the top clay court players in the world.
Coming into the clay season, many (including myself) were expecting big things from Ruud. However, he’s really struggled for form and has suffered a handful of disappointing losses and tournament runs. However, he made a smart tactical change losing after the first against Botic Van de Zandschulp where he changed his return/court position. This completely swung the match in his favour and he looked much more like the Ruud we know. The confidence from this win should propel him forward for the rest of the week and heading into Roland Garros, where he’s still in with an outside chance of winning the title.
Ruud has far more experience on this surface than Brooksby, and if he’s playing anywhere close to his best then he shouldn’t have a lot of issues here.
Prediction: Ruud in 2
Novak Djokovic vs Stan Wawrinka
Head-to-head: Djokovic 19 – 6 Wawrinka
An epic tennis rivalry will once again be renewed. Wawrinka has caught headlines once again this week as his comeback from injury is going much better than many had expected. Coming back from a set and a break down against Opelka, he found another gear and stormed back to win the match before grinding out a tough battle with Djere in the following round. It’s wonderful to seem back playing some great tennis, and now he faces the world #1.
Novak Djokovic is making his way back into regular match play, and looks better and better as each week passes. It was a highly positive week for him in Madrid and he looks like he’ll be peaking right in time for the French Open. It’s still hard to know what we should expect from him at this point, but he’s playing brilliant tennis and he looks so much more confident in himself than a few weeks ago. Though it was a shocking performance from Aslan Karatsev, Djokovic looked strong and assured throughout his first match.
This match-up has produced numerous thrilling encounters over the years, often producing the absolute pinnacle of modern-day tennis. Sadly, this probably won’t be like the previous times. Wawrinka is still finding his feet on return and Djokovic is doing much the same, so the pulsating tennis they usually produce may not be there. That said, there will likely be plenty to get excited about. Djokovic is in the better shape physically and has won far more matches recently, and he’ll go in as the heavy favourite. Stan will need to roll back the years to have much of a chance here.
Prediction: Djokovic in 2
Main Photo from Getty.