Day 6 at the ATP Rome Masters kicks off with the next set of third round matches. The day is highlighted by World #1 Carlos Alcaraz looking to win back-to-back Masters titles with his first title in Rome. His countryman, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who is always exciting to watch takes on the other clay Masters 1000 winner of the year, Andrey Rublev. Borna Coric is playing some of the best tennis of his career and he will look for another win to begin a deep run in Rome. Hopefully the weather continue to be clear with all of the great tennis in store, with all ATP and WTA matches predicted here at Last Word on Tennis. We have the rest of the day’s matches in a separate article. Who do you think will advance?
ATP Rome Day 6 Predictions
Marco Cecchinato vs Yannick Hanfmann
Head-to-head: 3-1 Hanfmann
The veterans meet up for the fifth time after both taking out seeded players in the second round. Hanfmann has the overall edge in prior matchups but Cecchinato won their last meeting on the clay in Rio last year. Hanfmann has played well above his ranking, qualifying for five straight events he attempted to including here in Rome. He has been excellent, winning all four total matches in straight sets including a dominant 6-4 6-1 win over Taylor Fritz.
Cecchinato has also been strong this year and made the semifinal in Estoril and scored a big win over Davidovich Fokina. Cecchinato has been more susceptible to bad losses as well, losing a few first round Challenger matches. Hanfmann has a bit more firepower on court than Cecchinato and has also been in sharp form so he will have an edge in what should be a close match.
Prediction: Hanfmann in 3
Andrey Rublev vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
Head-to-head: 2-0 Rublev
Davidovich Fokina plays Rublev on clay for the first time since 2020 French Open. It will be a fun contrast between Rublev’s power shots and Davidovich Fokina’s strong baseline defense. Rublev has been great on clay with his Monte Carlo title and final at the Serbian Open. Davidovich Fokina is a strong clay courter though not quite at Rublev’s level yet. He is a grinder who can battle in any match but generally struggles against top players. Most of Rublev’s losses have been to big, hard hitters so he will match up well against the Spaniard. Davidovich Fokina will wear him down but Rublev will win the key points in both sets to win.
Prediction: Rublev in 2
Borna Coric vs Roberto Carballes Baena
Head-to-head: 3-0 Coric
Though Coric has the historical edge, they have not played since 2019 and their last two meetings were on hard courts. Coric plays well on all surfaces but Carballes Baena is much more of a clay-court specialist. Carballes Baena won Marrakech to start his clay season but then won just one of three matches before a strong start to Rome with two good wins
Coric lost his first two matches on clay before his excellent run to the Madrid semifinal. It is hard to tell if that was a fluke because he again looked shaky in a first round win in Rome where he had to save a match point in a tight, long battle against Thiago Monteiro. Carballes Baena has been strong even against top players and with Coric’s potential fatigue is a prime upset opportunity. Carballes Baena has a good opportunity and will step up and score the upset.
Prediction: Carballes Baena in 3
Carlos Alcaraz vs Fabian Marozsan
Head-to-head: First meeting
This is certainly one of the most lopsided matches on paper for the day. Alcaraz has locked in the World #1 spot for next week’s rankings, while Marozsan had never won a match at tour-level before this week. Marozsan has made the most of his opportunity from qualifying and just got past young Czech Jiri Lehecka in a third set tiebreak.
Alcaraz has kept his momentum after winning Madrid, cruising through a tricky second-round match against Albert Ramos-Vinolas. He seems unbeatable and has lost just two sets in her last 12 matches. Alcaraz is too good and Marozsan has played on the big stage before, so this one will be quick and easy for the tournament favorite.
Prediction: Alcaraz in 2
Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports