The second week of the ATP Italian Open in Rome is upon us with third-round action concluding on Monday. Former champion Alexander Zverev will face Hubert Hurkacz’s conqueror J.J. Wolf, while Stefanos Tsitsipas will lock horns with home crowd favorite Lorenzo Sonego who famously reached the last four in Rome two years ago. We also predict the rest of the day’s matches in a separate article. Who will advance?
ATP Rome Day 6 Predictions
Lorenzo Musetti vs Frances Tiafoe
Head-to-head: Musetti 2-2 Tiafoe
Musetti has a score to settle in this match. He was Italy’s best hope of scoring a point in the United Cup final earlier this year when he played Tiafoe in their singles rubber. Sadly for him, he succumbed to a shoulder injury in that encounter and consequently derailed his Australian Open. The tables should turn in Rome. Musetti’s confidence has skyrocketed since beating Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo. His ball striking has been crisp and aggressive during the European clay swing. Tiafoe’s form has taken a sharp nosedive after winning the title in Houston and he was partly aided by the rain interruption on Saturday while trailing Daniel Altmaier eventually storming back to win on resumption on Sunday. He won’t get away from another slow start here with his opponent in better form.
Prediction: Musetti in 2
Daniil Medvedev vs Bernabe Zapata Miralles
Head-to-head: first meeting
Daniil Medvedev picked up his first main draw win in Rome at the fourth attempt. He erased a 0-3 deficit in the first set to beat power-hitting Emil Ruusuvuori 6-4 6-2. Bernabe Zapata Miralles, meanwhile, eased past Australia’s Jason Kubler, also in straight sets to reach the third round. Zapata Miralles owns 14 victories on clay this season, but has hardly beaten anyone of the aura and caliber of the third seed. Even with Medvedev’s self-confessed distaste for clay courts, it would still be a shock should the Spaniard prevail.
Prediction: Medvedev in 2
Alexander Zverev vs J.J. Wolf
Head-to-head: first meeting
Alexander Zverev battled past a vibrant David Goffin from a set and a break down to win 5-7 6-3 6-4. J.J. Wolf, for his part, scored his third top-20 win by upsetting Poland’s No. 1 Hubert Hurakcz in straight sets. Wolf talked about speeding up his mind with his shot selection and execution, which helped him dominate Hurkacz. He’ll need that in abundant supply against Zverev, who tends to be erratic when rushed. Wolf’s game has a lot more bite when he is able to pick his spots, but he is wildly unpredictable on this surface. Zverev should survive again.
Prediction: Zverev in 3
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Lorenzo Sonego
Head-to-head: Tsitsipas 2-0 Sonego
Lorenzo Sonego muscled 21 winners and saved four of five break points to beat Yoshihito Nishioka 7-5 6-3. Stefanos Tsitsipas, meanwhile, faced little resistance in breezing past Nuno Borges in a match that finished 24 hours late from the opening point following a rain-interrupted Saturday. Sonego has been to the semifinal in this tournament two years ago when he defeated Dominic Thiem and Andrey Rublev in back-to-back matches. But there is no indication he’ll repeat the thrills of that remarkable week from 2021. Tsitsipas is able to mask his weaknesses by practically getting sufficient time on the ball on that backhand wing, and his game is generally more suited to these courts than Sonego’s.
Prediction: Tsitsipas in 2
Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports