Rome Tuesday 2022 Day 3 Preview | ATP circuit


Tuesday’s action at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia includes the close of the first round and the start of the second as Jannik Sinner and Novak Djokovic set off for Rome. Four other Top 10 seeds are also on the Day 3 list: Andrey Rublev and Cameron Norrie on Grand Stand Arena, and Casper Ruud and Felix Auger-Aliassime on Pietrangeli.

Four first-round doubles matches are also on the schedule, including the tournament opener for third seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic.

View Singles Draw | View Doubles Chart | See the calendar

[10] Jannik Sinner (ITA) against Pedro Martinez (ESP)

Home favorite Sinner is looking to improve on their 4-3 record in Rome, where they are trying to reach the quarter-finals for the first time. The 20-year-old San Candido native reached that stage in Monte Carlo ahead of a third-round loss to Madrid last week. The five-time circuit champion is looking for his first trophy of the 2022 season.

Pedro Martinez won the clay-court title from Santiago in February and enters Rome at a career-high No. 40 in the Pepperstone ATP rankings. But he came up against a string of tough opponents on the European clay swing, posting a 1-3 record dating back to Monte Carlo with losses to Hubert Hurkacz, Ilya Ivashka and Alex de Minaur. It won’t be any easier for the Spaniard in his first encounter with Sinner, who will have the full support of the Italian crowd on center court.

[1] Novak Djokovic (SER) against Aslan Karatsev

Djokovic has an immediate chance to bounce back from Madrid’s third-set tie-break loss to eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz. The Serb shared two ATP Head2Head encounters with Aslan Karatsev in 2021, winning their Australian Open semi-final but losing in his hometown of Belgrade at the same stage.

As the world No. 1 enters the tournament in top form – but not at his best, he says – Karatsev has been going through a tough time after winning the title from Sydney in January. The 28-year-old is 3-9 after the Australian swing, with his last victory at the Miami Open presented by Itau in March before his first-round victory over Lloyd Harris, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6. (7).

Djokovic is 6-2 in his last two events in Belgrade and Madrid as he continues to gain confidence.

“I think it’s closer to [my] desired level every week,” he said. “Madrid, even though I lost in the semi-finals, I still think I played very good tennis. I felt physically 100% even after a nearly three and a half hour battle against Alcaraz. I recovered well the next day, I was ready to leave. It is a positive and encouraging factor before Rome and also, of course, the great objective which is Paris.

“I think I’m in the right direction. I know I can always play better and I know I’m very self-critical on the court. At the same time, looking realistically, I think tennis, the quality of tennis, the level of tennis is really high now.”

A five-time champion in Rome, Djokovic has defended 600 points in Pepperstone’s ATP rankings since his run to the final last year, when he lost to 10-time champion Rafael Nadal in three sets. The Serb must reach the semi-finals to retain his world number one status. If he makes it to the semi-finals, he will play for his 1,000th career victory, potentially against Nadal.

[5] Casper Ruud (NOR) against Botic van de Zandschulp (NED)

Ruud will be out for revenge in this rematch of the quarter-finals in Munich last month. Botic van de Zandschulp won that match, 7-5, 6-1, en route to his first ATP Tour final. The Dutchman backed that up with a three-set victory over local favorite Pablo Carreno Busta in Madrid before retiring against David Goffin.

Ruud reached back-to-back quarter-finals in Barcelona and Munich, losing to Spain‘s Carreno Busta before giving up his second encounter with van de Zandschulp. The pair also met in the second round of the 2021 US Open, where the Dutchman enjoyed a breakout run to the quarter-finals.

In his last appearance in Rome of 2020, Ruud knocked out Italians Lorenzo Sonego and Karen Khachanov before losing to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals. Van de Zandschulp makes his debut in the Italian capital and scored with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Sebastian Korda on Monday.

The best of the rest

Diego Schwartzman, seeded twelfth, will play the men’s third match on center court against Miomir Kecmanovic in the first round. At Grand Stand Arena, sixth seed Rublev will take on Filip Krajinovic while ninth seed Norrie will take on Italian wild card Luca Nardi. Grigor Dimitrov will open the game in Rome’s second stadium against American qualifier Brandon Nakashima.

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On Pietrangeli, three men’s matches will end after two WTA Tour competitions. None of the six men in action will be particularly pleased with their tough draws here: Hubert Hurkacz takes on David Goffin in the first round before Auger-Alaissime takes on Monte Carlo runner-up Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the second. The match Ruud against Van de Zandschulp serves as a last drink.

In doubles, Mektic and Pavic take on Lukasz Kubot and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, while fourth seeds John Peers and Filip Polasek take on Andrey Golubev and Maximo Gonzalez. Two Italian duos will also face off as Nardi and Lorenzo Sonego take on Flavio Cobolli and Francesco Forti, all on Court 4.


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