ATP Rome Day 3 Predictions Including Novak Djokovic vs Tomas Martin Etcheverry

Novak Djokovic in action ahead of the ATP Rome Masters.

It promises to be an entertaining third day at the ATP Rome Masters, with a number of intriguing matches on the slate at the Foro Italico. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the schedule, including Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Alexei Popyrin. But who will book their place in the round of 32 in Rome?

ATP Rome Day 3 Predictions

Arthur Fils vs Holger Rune

Head-to-head: first meeting

Arthur Fils captured headlines with his back-to-back semifinal runs in Montpellier and Marseille, and after an indifferent stretch since, he has been back in form this week. He started his ATP Rome Masters campaign in the qualifying, beating Ryan Peniston and Alexander Shevchenko to rach the main draw. There he accounted for Juan Manuel Cerundolo in a see-sawing three-set affair to earn his first win at this level. But backing it up against Holger Rune will be very difficult.

The Dane probably hasn’t quite hit the heights he would have hoped to so far this season after his superb end to 2022, but that says more about how well he finished last year than it does any real struggles in 2023. His performance in Madrid will have disappointed him, but the heavier conditions in Rome will probably suit his game better. Fils will be full of confidence, but it would be a real surprise to see Rune beaten here.

Prediction: Rune in 2
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Botic van de Zandschulp vs Laslo Djere

Head-to-head: first meeting

There is enough star power on display on day three at the ATP Rome Masters that a contest between the world #30 and the world #60 is perhaps in danger of being overlooked. It shouldn’t be. Botic van de Zandschulp has had a fairly disappointing year, but has enough quality to bounce back in the near future. Laslo Djere will really test him, however.

The Serbian may not pack as much of a punch of the ground as others on the tour but, at his best, he is very consistent and covers the court superbly. He is also in solid form after a run to the final at a Challenger in Cagliari last week. Winning breeds confidence and, in conditions that should suit his game very well, don’t be surprised if Djere has the edge here.

Prediction: Djere in 3
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Roman Safiullin vs Sebastian Korda

Head-to-head: first meeting

Sebastian Korda’s easy power and solid groundstrokes make him better suited to playing on the clay than many of his countrymen. That has led to some impressive results on the terre battue, not least a run to the fourth round at the French Open on his debut in 2023. Yet it is also hard to escape the feeling that he has slightly underachieved so far in his career or at least not kicked as he should have, though at 22, he still very much has time on his side.

Roman Safiullin, meanwhile, has demonstrated on more than one occasion that he has the quality when he is on song to become a fixture in the top 50. The challenge for the Russian has been bringing it all together on a consistent basis. Concerningly for Korda, however, he has looked very sharp so far this week, beating Joao Sousa and Vit Kopriva handily in the qualifying, before beating Marcos Giron equally comfortably in the first round. A big win might just be on the cards for Safiullin.

Prediction: Safiullin in 3
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Novak Djokovic vs Tomas Martin Etcheverry

Head-to-head: first meeting

It has been a difficult few weeks for Novak Djokovic. The Serbian has not looked particularly comfortable as he battles another elbow injury – which will be particularly concerning considering his history with that particular joint. Unfortunately the reality is that no player can go on forever and whilst Djokovic may not be close to retirement (he did win a Major less than six months ago after all), bursts of greatness rather than consistent domination are surely the norm for him now.

Tomas Martin Etcheverry is at a very different stage in his career. The Argentine’s prospects have been on a steadily upward trend over the last year or so, and he will surely be relishing this opportunity to take on one of the greatest to ever set foot on a tennis court. But Djokovic is one of the greatest of all time for a reason and, having missed the ATP Madrid Open, will surely be determined to make a statement in Rome ahead of Roland Garros. Etcheverry’s ambitions may well fall afoul of that reality.

Prediction: Djokovic in 2

Main photo credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports