PTA Italian Open

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May 08, 2021, 15:15

The Itallian Open starts tomorrow and finish next Sunday.  It is the last important  clay tournament before the Rolland Garross French Major Championship nd all the major.

So here are the major seeded contestants to play this week:-

Upper half of the draw

1    Novak Djokovic

5    Stefanos Tsitsipas

4    Dominioc Thim

7    Andrey Rublev

Bottom  Half of the Draw

8    Diego Shwartzman

3    Danill Medvedev

6    Alender Sverev

2    Rafael Nadall

The above 8 contestants only start playing in Round 2.   The other 8 seeded players will be identified after completion of Round 1.   

There are several problem cases amongst the seedings and some remarks are to be borne in mind:-

Novak Djokoic

After winning the Aussie Open (his only win this yea)  Djokovic did not play in any tournament for two months and then entered the Monte Carlo Clay Court Tournament as preparation for the Roland Garros tournament.   In the Monte Carlo tournament he was easily beaten in Round 2 by the unseeded Daniel Evans.   Djokovic knew that the next important tournament  where most of the ranked players  would play was to be in Barcelona - but instead of playing there he decided to play in the minor Belgrade tournament where he lost against Karatzev in the semifinal.   He now sees the Italian Open as the tournament where he can properly prepare for Roland Garross,   His clay court form is very poor and unless there is a miracle improvement the chances of winning in Rome is remote.

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Tsitsipas played in virtually every tournament since early January 2021 and went on to be a serious contestant in most tournaments - he won in Monte Carlo  and was the finalist in Barcelona - where Nadal won his first tournament this year,   Tsitsipas looked tired in the final and it got worse in the third set in the Barcelona final.   He was easily beaten by the unseeded Casper Ruud in the third round of the Madrid Open - proving match fatigue may be a problem  and he only had a few days off before having to play in Rome.   Watch put for signs of match fatigue in his case. 

Dominic Thiem   

Thiem had injury problems  this year and his return in Madrid from the injury lay=off was oppressive in beating Jogn Inser in the quarterfinal in Madrid.   He is playing Tserev in the semi today and my money on that one is on Thiem 

Andrey Rublev

He was in the final in Monte Carlo showing signs of match fatigue after playing virtually continuously since January 2021,    It was expected that he would not play in Barcelonam but he did enter and went out in the quarterfinals,  he showed serious signs of match-fatigue,   he took a week off and then did well in Madrid and even though he lost against John Isner in the third round  by a razor-thin margin, he  is likely to be back in form in Rome.  

Diego Schwartzman 

Schwartzman's form this year was horrible and he is likely to lose his ranking of 9 on Monday as a result,  Unlikely to with in this tournament,

Danill Medvedev                       

Medvedev was found positive of Covid 19 the Monday before the start of the  Monte Carlo tournament,   He was according to himself very sick for a few days,    His performance in Madrid was  substandard and it was clear that he was not near to his normal performances level which can be ascribed to the effects of the virus,   The question remains would he be back to normal  in Rome?

Matteo Berretitni

Berrettini's poor form this year makes it surprising that he made the seedings in this tournament,     He is in the semifinal in Madrid though.and will play the unseeded Casper Ruud,   If he lose in that match  he may remain the 10 seeded player purely because the other contenders are even worse than he is.   

Rafael Nadal

What can one say - of somebody told me that by middle May Nadal only won one tournament 2021 I would not have believed him or her.  Nadal is horribly out of form this year    He was beaten in the Aussie Open quarterfinal by Medvedev, In Monte Carlo by Rublev and in Madrid by Sverev.    His only win this year in Barcelona  against Tsitsipas was due no doubt to match fatigue of Tsitsipas.    Will he make it in Rome?   I will not put a cent on that.  




May 09, 2021, 17:32

The championship started today with some Round 1 matches played  and  most Round 1 matches will be played tomorrow -  followed by the Round  2 matches on Tuesday.   The following will be the Round 2 matches to be played:-

Upper half of the Draw

1      Novak Djokovic                vs         Taylor Fritz

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina   vs         Cameron Norrie

8      Matteo Berrettini               vs          John  Millman

5      Stefanos  Tsitsipas            vs           Marin Cilic

4     Dominic  Thiem                vs            Marton  Fucsovics

Lorenzo Sonego                       vs            Gianluca Mager

10    Roberto Bautista-Agut     vs             Cristian Garin

7      Andrey  Rublev                vs            Jan-Lennard  Struff

Bottom Half of the Draw

8     Diego Schwartzman         vs        Felix  Auger-Aliassime

12   David Goffin                    vs        Frederico Delbonis

Lorenzo Musetti                     vs        Reilly Opelka

3     Danill Medvedev            vs         Aslan Karatsev

6     Alexander Sverev           vs         Hugo  Dellien

11   Pablo Carrero-Busta       vs         Kei  Nishikori

13   Denis Shapovalov           vs        Stefano Travaglia

 2    Rafel Nadal                    vs         Jannik Sinner

I will fill up the blank spaces as the results come in tomorrow.  

The impressive Ruud  has withdrawn  from this tournament as he was not up to his normal high standard in the Madrid semi and will now go on refreshed in the Roland Garros  Major tournament.

Todays match-up of Fritz and Evans is interesting - since the winner will be up against Djokovic in Round 2.    Fritz  took Djokovic in the Aussie Open to a five\setter and Evans sent him packing  in Round 2 on the Monte Carlo series,   Whomsoever win is set to be competitive against Djokovic.                  

May 11, 2021, 09:55

The fact is that of the 8  seeded players  3 play their  Round 2 matches today,  namely -

*   1   Djokovic;

*   8   Schwartzman; and 

*   3   Medvedev

I think based on recent clay court performances  Djokovic can be in trouble  and so is Schwartzman - would not at all be surprised of both lose their matches.

The other 5 seeded players play their Round 2 matches tomorrow.        

May 11, 2021, 12:54

Third Round Matches

Top Half of the Draw

1     Novak Djokovic                       vs           Alejamdro  Davidovicih Fokina 

5     Stefanos Tsitsipas                    vs            8    Matteo  Berrettini

4     Dominic Thiem                        vs           Lorenzo Sonego

7     Andrey Rublev                         vs          10   Roberto Bautista-Agut

Bottom Half of the Draw

 Felix Auger-Alliassime                  vs          Frederico  Delbonis

Aslan  Karatsev                               vs          Reilly Opelka

6    Alexander Sverev                       vs         Kei  Nishikori

2     Rafael Nadal                              vs         13   Denis Shapovalov

Djokovic  screamed at the umpire after he lost a game serving for the match and when he lost it he started shouting at the umpire in the crudest possible way,     This is not the first time it happened.    In Cincinatti last year he did the same and was banned from playing in the subsequent US Open.    They should ban him from this series - his behavior is not fitting from a tennis  player.  Djokovic walked off the court and  Fritz was sitting on his  bench looking in amazement  at what was happening.     

Due to Djokovic's conduct play was suspended due to rain.    Fact is play went on on other courts at the stadium - while the rain  excuse was used as a reason to suspend only at the main court.  

Despite winning their matches today both Thieem and Rublev were not up to expectation  and I will be surprised if they win their matches tomorrow.     Djokovic will have a hard job to beat Davidovich  Fokina.     I am not sure whether Berretini will beat Tsitsopas.   and the remaining match is a toss-up.    

One of the major problems are the fact that in the bottom half of the draw only three seeded players  of 8 survived to the next round -f those to players are playing each other in Round 3 and two seeded players play each other in  the quarterfinals  the remaining 2 seeded players will play each other,      In the top half of the draw there are likely 2 of the present 6 seeded players may be eliminated and  if any of he unseeded players win against seeded players the end result could be the survival of three    or even less  of the seeded players surviving to play to go through  the quarterfinals.      

May 13, 2021, 07:07

Quarterfinal line-ups.

Top Half of  the Draw

1    Novak Djokovic               vs         5     Stefanos  Tsitsipas   

7    Andrey  Rublev                vs          Loreno Sonego 

Bottom Half of the Draw

Reilly Opelka                        vs          Frederico  Delbonis

2    Rafael  Nadal                  vs          6    Alexnder  Sverev    

Favors Tsitsipas to beat Djokonic - but the bookmakers think otherwise.   No prediction made.

Rublev played Sonego once before  and beat him easily,   However, even though that was on a hard court - the fact is Sonego beat Thiem, it must be borne in mind that Rublev beat Thiem easily in the last two matches they played each other,   The way Ruvblev played today he should pull it off.  

Third match - no one will be able to predict the outcome of that one.

 What can one say,    Both Nadal and Sverev  had difficult three setters today,  After his victory in Madrid  Sverev looked decidedly tired and disinterested in what happened  when playing Nishikori, Nadal struggled bravely in his match against Shapavalov  and win by a  razor  thin margin.     The match lasted more than 3 hours 30 minutes  and  he looked no better than Sverev.    It depends on which Sverev turns up fir the match,   No prediction made despite the fact that Nadal is the bookmakers favorite..


May 13, 2021, 07:07

Semi-final line-ups.

Top Half of  the Draw

1     Novak Djokovic                  vs              Lorenzo  Sonego

Bottom Half of the Draw

2     Rafael  Nadal                      vs               Reilly Opelka

May 15, 2021, 06:53

The quarterfinals for the Bottom Half of the Draw was completed  and the result is as indicaed above,  In the top half of the draw the first match to be played   the match between Djokowic and Tsitsipas  -  was started and Tsitsipas is  leading  after winning the first set and having a break in the second set and is leading 2-1.   The first quarterfinal will be completed today an rthe secind will start at 11:00.

The Bottom Half  semi will also be played today  and  it is uncertainty when  the Top Half semi will take place and  may even be played tomorrow - with the final moving to Monday.    According to the commentators  the weather forecast for today seems to show rain and we will have to see whether any matches will be played today.             

May 15, 2021, 22:19

Final ;

1    Novak Djokovic        vs                2    Rafael   Nadal   

May 15, 2021, 22:20

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