Day 5: Wawrinka’s apartment returns more to Novak Djokovic’s showdown ATP Tour

For the first time this week in International BNL of Italy, all remaining male singles competitors will play the same day. Eight games of the third round meet a crowded schedule on Thursday, and each of the top 5 tournament winners is still standing.

26. ATP Head2Head meeting between Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka leads the evening session of the central court, with the defending champion Rafael NadalChampion 2017 Alexander Zverev and a domestic favorite Jannik Grešnik also in action on the stadium pitch.

In a doubles game, unlikely first pairing John Isner and Diego Schwartzman meet with five Colombian bearers Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah with a place in the quarterfinals on the line.

See the schedule | Watch the singles draw | See the pair draw

[1] Novak Djokovic (SER) vs. Stan Wawrinka (SUI)

Djokovic leads Wawrinka 19-6 in their 2-0 rivalry in Rome, including a three-set victory in the 2008 final. With Thursday’s victory, the 361st Swiss in the world – who entered the ATP Masters 1000 with a protected rankings – will become the lowest-ranked player to reach Rome’s quarterfinals and beat the world’s No. 1 Tournament-level Tournament since the 1990 ATP Tour.

Wawrinka won the last two matches, 2016 US Open finals in 2019 US Open the fourth round, with the latter coming through retirement in the third set. While the 37-year-old is looking for the 25th quarterfinals of the Masters 1000 and the fourth in Rome, Djokovic is competing for his 89th quarterfinal at that level. The Serb has never managed to reach the quarterfinals in 16 previous appearances in the Italian capital.

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Djokovic must reach the semifinals this week to keep his place at the top of the Pepperstone ATP rankings – he is currently in 2nd place Pepperstone ATP rankings live as he defends 600 points from qualifying for last year’s Rome final – and will achieve 1,000 career victories by going to the final.

After winning his first tour-level victory in 15 months Reilly Opelka in three sets in the first round, Wawrinka went the knockout distance again Laszlo Gere on Wednesday. Despite these results, he reduced his chances against world number 1.

“Novak, it’s going to be tough. Tough challenge for sure,” Wawrinka said in his post-match press release. “I’m not where I want to be yet. I need matches, I need training, I need to spend time in shape. It’s a good challenge to play with him, of course.

“I don’t think I’m ready to play at that level yet, but it will be interesting to see. I have to go through those matches for the next few months.”

Djokovic, who looked sharp in winning the series Aslan Karatsev on Tuesday, is looking for his first title in five competitions this season.

[3] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. [13] Denis Shapovalov (CAN)

In a clash of all leftists, Nadal meets Rome 2020 semifinalist Shapovalov in the rematch of last year’s third-round epic. The Spaniard saved two match points before winning a tie-break in the deciding set after three hours and 27 minutes on his way to the 10th title in Rome in 2021, and Nadal is ready for another rigorous test on Thursday while chasing his 100th. a quarter at Masters 1000 – the final look.

“Last year was a joke, a game I saved here against him [Shapovalov]”Nadal said after beating Isner in the second round on Wednesday.[I was] super lucky. I know how dangerous he is. I have to play well, of course. I have to play better than today, but after some time without a field, it is another victory and again I have the opportunity to play against one of the best players in the world. ”

Shapovalov lags behind Nadal 1-4 in the ATP Head2Head series, but the Canadian once again pushed Nadal to the end in their only match since last year’s Roman classic – the Spaniard’s victory in five sets in the quarterfinals in January Australian Open. Shapoval’s year has stalled somewhat since that defeat and he has 15-8 for the season, but the 13th seed has already shown his resilience this week by going through a stormy clash in the first round with the home favorite Lorenzo Sonego.

[5] Casper Ruud (NI) vs. Jenson Brooksby (NOW)

Ruud’s European results on clay were incredible by his standards so far this year, with the world number 10 winning just four matches in four tournaments before Rome. That disappointing series was in danger of continuing in the Italian capital when he dropped the starting set Botić van de Zandschulp on Tuesday, but the fifth seed stepped up to complete a comeback win as he tries to improve his 2020 semi-final performance at Foro Italico.

The unplaced Brooskby recorded an impressive own win on Tuesday, undoing it David Goffin to reach the third round in only his second Masters 1000 tournament on clay. Brooksby have been solid in supporting their breakthrough season in 2021 this year, reaching the finals at Dallas Openand his first ATP Head2Head encounter with a player on the ground Ruud promises an intriguing spectacle.

Best of all

Another seed Alexander Zverev seeks his 100th victory at the ATP Masters 1000 level in the first match of the day against Alex de Minaur in the central field. The 2017 champion in Rome is also competing for his fourth final of the tournament as he seeks his first title of the 22-8 season. Zverev and de Minaur played exclusively on hard courts in their six ATP Head2Head matches, and Zverev led in a 5-1 series and played his last match in three sets last year in Vienna.

Home favorite Jannik Grešnikfresh after a three-set fight with fellow Italian Fabio Fogninigame Filip Krajinović later in the exhibition court. They were both in several Masters 1000 quarterfinals, Sinner three times before and the Serb twice, but neither went beyond the 16 finals in Rome.

At the Grand Stand Arena, fourth place winner Stefanos Tsitsipas will take over Karen Khachanov in the first men’s match at. Greek, who saved two match balls against Grigor Dimitrov on Wednesday it is 4-0 against the 24th world number. If he manages to keep the perfect record intact, Tsitsipas will break the tie with Carlos Alcaraz for the 2022 ATP Tour the match wins the lead with a record 29-9.

Couples

Isner and Schwartzman are striving to score 2-0 in their new partnership as they fight Cabal and Farah on field 2. Isner holds an impressive 19-4 doubles record this year, including the Masters 1000 titles at Indian Wells (with Jack Sock) and Miami (s.) Hubert Hurkacz). He also reached the semi-finals of Madrid with Hurkacz, winning 22nd place in the Pepperstone ATP doubles rankings of his career.

Cabal and Farah reached the final of Madrid last week, but missed the Tie-break match Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski, who eliminated Isner and Hurkacz one round earlier. Koolhof and Skupski are also in action in Rome as they meet Rohan Bopanna and Matwe Middelkoop for placement in the quarterfinals of Rome.

The quarterfinal list of couples will be completed after six matches on Thursday.

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