The Italian Open is into the semifinals in Rome. The ATP Masters 1000 event has been quite eventful with the quarterfinal exit of Novak Djokovic, a six-time Italian Open title winner. World No. 3 Daniil Medvedev is part of the final four. Medvedev has been vocal about his distaste for the “red dirt” but now finds himself still in it after entering the tournament with a 0-3 record in Rome. The Russian will face world No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, while the other semifinal match will pit Norway’s Casper Ruud against 20-year-old Dane Holger Rune.
Between the two matches, here’s the one bet to make.
Medvedev vs. Tsitsipas over 22.5 games
Medvedev holds a 7-4 record against Tsitsipas, so the history and familiarity is there. The current conditions in Rome (cold and rainy) have been advantageous for Medvedev. It’s given him an easier time with the ball. The bounce is muted while the cooler temperature makes the balls a bit more flat and slow.
This means a battle-of-the-baseline game. Medvedev will be able to push Tsitsipas. Tsitsipas is the better clay-court player, but he might be in for some grueling rallies in this matchup.
Tsitsipas (-150) vs. Medvedev
Tsitsipas is playing high-quality tennis in part because of his serving. He’s played three of four matches serving better than 85% on first-serve points won … on a slow clay court.
Medvedev will be a bigger test for Tsitsipas as a strong returner. However, Tsitsipas is clearly back to full health from a shoulder injury with an improved, more aggressive backhand. He’s backing up to give himself time to find a more clean shot, which has helped with consistency and more topspin. It’s the topspin that makes it difficult for opponents to combat the shot. Combine his serve with an already powerful forehand and now a stronger backhand, and I like Tsitsipas to come through with a win over Medvedev.
The bet: Tsitsipas (-150)