After a week of enthralling clay court tennis in the Italian capital, quarterfinal day of the ATP Rome Masters at the Forro Italico is finally upon us. Alexander Zverev takes on Christian Garin in the opening match of the day on Grandstand. Elsewhere, home favourite Jannik Sinner takes on Stefanos Tsitsipas in what could be the match of the day.
ATP Rome Quarterfinals Predictions
Casper Ruud vs Denis Shapovalov
Head to Head: 1-0 Ruud
After a disappointing clay court season considering his high standards so far, Casper Ruud has had some good wins this week in Rome. The Norweigan defeated Botic van de Zandschulp in the opening round and followed it up with a straight sets win over Jenson Brooksby. Ruud has a real opportunity to win his first Masters 1000 title this week, however he will be looking to up his level. The benefit of his upturn in form this week is that it should provide him with confidence heading into Roland Garros.
Denis Shapovalov showed resilience in his round of 16 victory over Rafael Nadal. After being blown away by the Spaniard in the opening set, the Canadian stuck with Nadal throughout the second set. Despite the Spaniard’s obvious physical discomfort, Shapovalov did well to close the match out by playing a solid and consistent level of tennis upon getting the break of serve. The real area of concern for the Canadian is how erratic his level is in matches. Shapovalov is undoubtedly an unbelievable talent, and when he is firing on all cylinders, the Canadian is a nightmare for any opponent, and he has the game to beat anyone in the world. However, I would like to see him add a bit more discipline to his game.
This promises to be an intriguing match. However, the Norweigan is undoubtedly the favourite. I think Shapovalov will get a set. However, Ruud’s consistent base level of play will mean that he will record a three set win.
Prediction: Ruud in 3
Cristian Garin vs Alexander Zverev
Head to Head: 1-0 Garin
Alexander Zverev has been solid so far this clay court season. The German reached the semifinals in Monte Carlo, the final in Madrid, and this week he is into the quarterfinals in Rome. So far this week, the German has looked in fine form. In his first match, the German managed to beat the in form Sebastian Baez in straight sets. This was despite struggling to win points on the Argentine’s serve in the first set. In the next round, Zverev upped his level against Alex de Minaur, looking nearly untouchable on his serve during the first set. However, whilst a break up in the second set, the German tightened up, and he briefly allowed de Minaur back into the match. Despite this, Zverev regained his focus to record a straight sets win.
Cristian Garin has played his best tennis of the 2022 season in Rome. The Chilean had been struggling to record consecutive wins since reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon last year. Garin has defeated Francesco Passaro, Emil Ruusuvuori and Marin Cilic to reach the quarterfinals. Garin is a former ATP 500 title winner on this surface and can test anyone on this surface when he is playing his best.
If the German is able to iron out his problems on the second serve, then I think he is the heavy favorite for this match.
Prediction: Zverev in 2
Jannik Sinner vs Stefanos Tsitsipas
Head to Head: 3-1 Tsitsipas
This has the potential to be the match of the day. Stefanos Tsitsipas successfully defended his title in Monte Carlo. However, since then, the Greek has not produced his best tennis. Last week in in his Madrid semifinal with Alexander Zverev, Tsitisipas’s forehand inexplicably broke down, in what was an error strewn performance from the Greek. This week, Tsitsipas has battled hard, saving match-points to eventually come through Grigor Dimitrov in the his opening match. In the round of 16, the Greek came from a set down and saved break points at the start of the second set to defeat Karen Khachanov.
Jannik Sinner has also battled through tight matches this week. Sinner won an all Italian clash against Fabio Fognini in his opening round. In the round of 16, the Italian defeated Filip Krajinovic. Sinner has had his struggles with illness and injury this season, so it is good to see the Italian seemingly fully fit this week. There is no questioning Sinner’s attitude in matches. The Italian has saved match point before going on to win the match four times this season. This fighting spirit will stand him in good stead heading into Roland Garros.
I think this will be a close match. Sinner has improved his ability to hit his spots on serve, and the Italian has the potential to target the Tsitsipas backhand return. Having said that, the Greek has an underrated serve, and he has exceptional net skills. It will be a good tactical battle, and I’m predicting the Italian to record the upset in front of his home crowd. I think Sinner will get the win in three tight sets.
Prediction: Sinner in 3
Felix Auger Aliassime vs Novak Djokovic
Head to Head: First Meeting< Novak Djokovic has improved his level incrementally since the start of the clay court season in Monte Carlo. Last week in Madrid, the Serb was very impressive during his defeat to Carlos Alcatraz. Djokovic won a high percentage of free points on his serve, and his movement looked the best it has been in 2022. This week, the world number 1 has recorded impressive wins over Aslan Karatsev and Stan Wawrinka.
Felix Auger Aliassime had an incredible start to the season. The Canadian was part of the Canadian team that won the ATP Cup. Auger Aliassime followed this with a run to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. After success in Australia, Auger Aliassime won his first ATP Title earlier this season in Rotterdam. However, since reaching the final in Marseille the following week, the Canadian has not consistently played his best tennis. However, runs to the quarterfinals of Madrid last week, and Rome this week are promising signs that Auger Aliassime will peak for Roland Garros.
I think this will be a close match. However, Djokovic is the more consistent of the two, especially on serve. I think Djokovic will get the win in a tight three set match.
Prediction: Djokovic in 3
Main Photo from Getty.