Novak Djokovic progresses to the third round of the Italian Open after battling through a tough first set via a tie-break against Tomas Martin Etcheverry. Despite an initial challenge from Etcheverry, Djokovic eventually won the match with a 7-6(5) 6-2 scoreline. The world No. 1 has an impressive record in Rome, having never failed to reach the quarter-finals in 16 appearances.
However, Djokovic did not have an easy time in his match against Etcheverry. The Serbian made an uncharacteristic 21 unforced errors, which made the contest unpredictable. Etcheverry immediately broke Djokovic in his first game, setting up two break points. Although Djokovic saved the first, he surrendered the second with a wayward backhand. Etcheverry continued to put up strong resistance, saving a break point with a confident serve-and-volley before clinching an important hold.
Djokovic eventually found a route back into the set in game six when Etcheverry went for a forehand winner down the line but sent it just wide on break point, leveling things up at 3-3. Djokovic was given another scare when he found himself 5-3 down in the tie-break, but he managed to seize control of the breaker, the set and the match with four points on the bounce.
British No. 1 Cameron Norrie has advanced to the last 16 of the Italian Open after defeating Alexandre Muller in straight sets. The 13th seed had struggled on clay this season, winning just two matches in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and Madrid combined. However, Norrie put in a solid performance against Muller, completing the match in just one hour and 14 minutes.
Home favourite Jannik Sinner also progressed to the last 16 with a convincing victory over qualifier Thanasi Kokkinakis. Sinner, the eighth seed in Rome, has been in fine form at ATP 1000 events recently, reaching the final in Miami and the last four in Indian Wells and Monte Carlo. The Italian, who missed the recent Madrid Open due to illness, will be looking to continue his impressive run in front of his home crowd.
However, not all seeded players were as fortunate. Tenth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime suffered a shock exit at the hands of qualifier Alexei Popyrin. The Canadian’s hopes of a deep run in the tournament were ended by Popyrin, who claimed his third top-10 victory of the season with a hard-fought 6-4 4-6 7-5 win.
Meanwhile, Grigor Dimitrov overcame veteran Stan Wawrinka in straight sets and will face Djokovic. And 23rd-ranked Botic van de Zandschulp was beaten in straight sets by Serbian Laslo Djere, while Francisco Cerundolo beat Wu Yibing in three sets.
Sinner will face Alexander Shevchenko in the last 16 after the lucky loser beat Sebastian Baez 6-3 6-4. And Popyrin will face Roman Safiullin, who surprised 22nd seed Sebastian Korda with a 6-2 7-6(5) win.
The Italian Open has already provided plenty of excitement and surprises, and there are sure to be more as the tournament progresses. Fans will be eagerly anticipating the upcoming matches to see who will come out on top in this prestigious event.
Today and in the coming day’s the weather forecast is not great at all, with days of rain predicted. If we get lucky and get play in here are my predictions:
Cecchinato to beat Bautista-Agut
Monteiro to win a set v Coric
Altmaier to beat Tiafoe
Sonego 2-0 Nishioka
Goffin to Win a set v Zverev
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