On the fourth day of the ATP Masters in Rome, we’ve got some exciting match-ups. These include Yoshihito Nishioka, who will be looking to continue an exceptional 52-week stretch, against the explosive power of Lorenzo Sonego and a rematch of Frances Tiafoe’s first round win at the Australian Open over the loopy one-hander of Daniel Altmaier. We’ve predicted the outcomes of these matches and more at LWOT.
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 Carlos Alcaraz vs Albert Ramos Vinolas, Andrey Rublev vs Alex Molcan, and Alexander Zverev vs David Goffin. Who do you think will win on Saturday?
ATP Rome Day 4 Predictions
Jiri Lehecka vs Fabian Marozsan
Head-to-head: First meeting
For all the fantastic performances we’ve seen from Jiri Lehecka, he looks very much like the unfinished product. Spectacular straight-sets wins in Monte Carlo over Ruusuvuori and Dimitrov are diminished in value by head-scratching drops in form, falling away to Fritz and Kecamonovic and being bulldozed by Shevchenko in Madrid.
It’s therefore difficult to go all in on Lehecka against the plucky qualifier Fabian Marozsan. The conditions should suit Lehecka’s solid game style–but just how solid will the Czech be? We’ll back him but we don’t think it’ll be smooth sailing.
Prediction: Lehecka in 3
Frances Tiafoe vs Daniel Altmaier
Head-to-head: Tiafoe 1-0 Altmaier
Madrid’s second-luckiest loser Daniel Altmaier continues his run of form through qualifying and into the second round of Rome. His game is well and truly built for clay–exceptionally high in topspin on both sides, sometimes verging on passive with how much shape he gives his shots.
For those that can execute consistently aggressive plays, he’s there for the taking. Frances Tiafoe should be up to the task–his valuable kick-serve will be great against the one-hander of Altmaier and his forehand is repeatable when it isn’t being rushed.
Prediction: Tiafoe in 2
Lorenzo Sonego vs Yoshihito Nishioka
Head-to-head: Sonego 1-0 Nishioka (all levels)
It’s hard to predict which Lorenzo Sonego you’ll get on any given day. If there was a likely place for Sonego to light up though, it would be here. The conditions of Rome should reward Sonego’s consistently heavy hitting, particularly given he’ll be amped up by the home crowd.
There is no doubt Yoshihito Nishioka will be a thorn in the Italian’s side given his recent form. With the serve heavily exposed and the strokes of the Japanese not skipping through as much as they would on a hard-court, the advantage should go to Sonego.
Prediction: Sonego in 3
Daniil Medvedev vs Emil Ruusuvuori
Head-to-head: Medvedev 1-0 Ruusuvuori
Emil Ruusuvori has always been a lot like Jannik Sinner. Exceptionally clean striking off either wing and a return game that could make Novak Djokovic blush. On clay, with the return taking more of a spotlight, Ruusuvuori could absolutely find ways of stopping the rallies from extending.
Daniil Medvedev has a 6-0 head-to-head against Jannik Sinner and one win in one meeting over Ruusuvuori–but he hasn’t played either of them on clay. Just like his Italian peer, it’ll likely be a far closer affair on this surface as Medvedev will so frequently be on the back foot. We think Ruusuvuori is the man to take advantage of the Russian’s vulnerability on the red dirt.
Prediction: Ruusuvuori in 3
Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports