As the first week of the ATP Italian Open in Rome comes to an end, the Foro Italico crackles in anticipation as World #2 Carlos Alcaraz is set to mark his tournament debut when he takes on countryman Albert Ramos Vinolas. As always, we share our thoughts on every match for you. We split all 16 of the day’s matches between four articles. Our other three articles feature Andrey Rublev vs Alex Molcan, Daniil Medvedev vs Emil Ruusuvuori, and Alexander Zverev vs David Goffin. Who do you think will reach the third round?
ATP Madrid Day 4 Predictions
Borna Coric vs Thiago Monteiro
Head-to-head: Monteiro 1-0 Coric
One of the players who shone at altitude was Borna Coric. The Croat made a rare foray in the semifinal of the Madrid Open last week where he lost to tournament winner Carlos Alcaraz. Coric will look to keep that momentum on a roll. He opens up his Rome campaign against the hard-hitting and relentless Brazilian Thiago Monteiro who already has a win under his belt. Coric is favored to win and now that he’s got his season back on track, it is hard to dispute that call.
Prediction: Coric in 3
Taylor Fritz vs Yannick Hanfmann
Head-to-head: first meeting
Taylor Fritz doesn’t have the baggage of defending points after Monte Carlo until the French Open. So essentially, he is playing under the slightest pressure and that’s why he is making these deep runs. He had the misfortune of squandering three match points in Madrid against Zhizhen Zhang which would have taken him to another quarterfinal on clay. His opponent Yannick Hanfmann has already pulled the rabbit out of the hat by taking down one dark horse in Nicolas Jarry. So that eases Fritz’s path and I reckon the American will be too strong on the day.
Prediction: Fritz in 2
Dan Evans vs Roberto Carballes Baena
Head-to-head: Carballes Baena 1-0 Evans
Carballes Baena won a nip-and-tuck first career meeting against Dan Evans in Marrakech en route to the title. This match in Rome will likely be on a knife edge again. Opponents strived to exploit the Briton’s frailties on clay, but Evans has battled with equal determination to overcome them in recent weeks. He’s been very adaptable on this surface learning how to maximize on his strengths. The Spaniard still holds a tiny edge, but watch out for the one-hander to push him all the way.
Prediction: Carballes Baena in 3
Carlos Alcaraz vs Albert Ramos Vinolas
Head-to-head: Alcaraz 3-0 Ramos Vinolas
It defies belief that almost a year ago, Ramos Vinolas stood on the brink of beating one of the favorites Carlos Alcaraz at Roland Garros. But fast forward to 2023, and it’s a minor miracle that the 35-year-old has advanced into the second round in Rome. Ramos Vinolas’ form fell off a cliff at the turn of the year and he is barely even able to lift himself up from the canvas. This could end very quickly.
Prediction: Alcaraz in 2
Main Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports