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ATP Rome Day 1 predictions including Andy Murray vs Fabio Fognini

Andy Murray French Open

With the clay season in full swing, we take a look at some Day 1 matches at the ATP Rome Masters. Andy Murray’s showdown with Fabio Fognini should be an exciting one. We also predict the rest of the day’s matches, split between three articles. One features Richard Gasquet vs Yibing Wu, the second highlights Ilya Ivashka vs Stan Wawrinka, and the third features Jaume Munar vs Thanasi Kokkinakis. Who do you think will in?

ATP Rome Masters Day 1 Predictions

Sebastian Baez vs Juan Pablo Varillas

All meetings between these two have been on the clay. Baez the Argentine holds the advantage having beaten the Peruvian six times in their last eight meetings. This will be the second meeting this year of the pair. The last time was in February at the Rio Open. That last meeting was very close and could have gone the distance. Baez edged through in straight sets but Varillas made him work for it as neither set was easy. This should be another close fought match, with both wanting to go further.
Prediction: Baez in 2

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Constant Lestienne vs Laslo Djere

Only the second meeting of this pairing, and the first on clay. Lestienne won the first meeting, which was on hard court. The Frenchman has not had a good run in to this Masters event and clay doesn’t appear to agree with him. He hasn’t played much on the surface in the build up. Djere on the other hand, has played quite a few build up events, including making the final of the ATP Challenger Tour event in Cagliari, Sardinia. The ranking disparity between Lestienne & Djere isn’t such a big gap, so this will be an interesting match.
Prediction: Djere in 2

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Filip Krajinovic vs Marton Fucsovics

Another Serbian on the clay here. Krajinovic made a semifinal recently in Prague, following a first round exit in Madrid. In Prague, Krajinovic didn’t meet another seed until that semifinal which he eventually lost after a very tough battle. The bigger stage of Rome may prove like Madrid to be too big a step up. Marton Fucsovics has made the main draw from qualifying in a couple of run up events. However, has not gone beyond the second round, mostly first round exits. This should be a fairly easy win for the Serbian
Prediction: Krajinovic in 2

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Andy Murray vs Fabio Fognini

Arguably, the marquee match of the day. Also likely to be a bit of a grudge match. The last time these two met on the circuit was at the Shanghai Masters in 2019, just as Murray was starting his singles comeback from the resurfacing operation. At one point Murray told the Italian to “shut up.”

The Brit eventually lost that match, and the pair haven’t played since. The Italian hasn’t played any warm up events on clay, whilst Murray played Madrid and lost in the first round. However, the Brit dropped down to Challenger level last week and played in Aix-en-Provence and claimed the title. Clay has never been Murray’s favorite surface, which can also be seen in the fact that he only ever made the final of the French Open once to date.
Prediction: Murray in 3

Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports


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