Djokovic vs Tsitsipas French Open tennis preview, head-to-head and predictions

Can Stefanos Tsitsipas stop Novak Djokovic from reaching his fifth French Open final?

Djokovic vs Tsitsipas is live from Roland Garros on Friday 9 October, 5pm local/4pm BST

World no. 1 Novak Djokovic must contend with ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas – and his own physical issues – to reach the French Open final and fulfil his end of a probable date with destiny, also known as 12-time champion Rafael Nadal.

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Tsitsipas has beaten Djokovic twice, but the top seed will also be concerned with the neck and arm issues which troubled him during a quarterfinal victory over Pablo Carreno Busta which saw him drop his first set of the tournament.

Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.

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Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: Head-to-head

Novak Djokovic leads the head-to-head with Stefanos Tsitsipas 3-2, and has won their last two encounters in straight sets (6-1, 6-2 at the Paris Masters last year; 6-3, 6-4 in the Dubai final in February 2020).

Tsitsipas beat Djokovic in their first meeting at the Canada Masters in July 2018 and the Shanghai Masters in autumn 2019.

Djokovic is 1-0 vs Tsitsipas on clay, beating him 6-3, 6-4 at the Madrid Masters in May 2019.

Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: Preview

Novak Djokovic hit his first speed bump of his quest for a second French Open title on Wednesday when he faced Pablo Carreno Busta, the only player to have technically beaten him in 2020 (although Djokovic has still not lost a completed match this year, or to Carreno Busta, ever).

Djokovic dropped the first set to Carreno Busta 4-6 after having lost just 25 games in four matches at Roland Garros, and was clearly physically struggling at the start of the match. Carreno Busta questioned the validity of Djokovic calling the trainer after the first set, but the world no. 1 came on court with tape on his neck and was attempting to stretch out his left arm from the first point, cradling it during the first changeover and even whacking it with his racquet.

After the match, Djokovic didn’t want to go into too much detail about the issue but said that the pain faded away as his body warmed up – entirely plausible, especially given the unusually cold conditions this French Open is being played in, which Nadal has spoken out about.
Djokovic never looked entirely comfortable, but he played good enough tennis to beat Carreno Busta fairly easily, and that’s saying something, given the way that the Spaniard has been playing and competing recently.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (Photo by Laurent Zabulon/ABACAPRESS.COM)

How will he fare against Stefanos Tsitsipas? The Greek came into his quarterfinal clash with Andrey Rublev trailing 0-3 in the head-to-head and with plenty of psychological baggage – having failed to serve out the win against Rublev in the recent Hamburg Open final, for one thing; having had six match points against Borna Coric at the US Open and ending up losing, for another. He finished it having thoroughly outplayed Rublev for a 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 win, leaving the Russian looking completely out of ideas, and having done it all looking relaxed and playing within himself – he finished with 35 winners to 17 unforced errors, and having been broken just once.

It’s hard to imagine better preparation or a more confidence-boosting victory ahead of a semifinal clash with Djokovic, and Tsitsipas is incredibly comfortable on clay. With Djokovic potentially struggling with this physical issue, too, it’s hard to think of a better set-up for Tsitsipas to really take it to the world no. 1. And yet we’ve been here before with Djokovic, so many times. He knows – almost no one better – how to manage these matches, how to handle these opponents. If he’s in around the same physical condition as he seemed to be against Carreno Busta, I back him to win in a scratchy four.

Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: Prediction

Can Andrey Rublev maintain his unbeaten record against Stefanos Tsitsipas to make his first Grand Slam semifinal at the French Open?

Tsitsipas vs Rublev is live from Roland Garros on Wednesday 7 October, 3pm local/2pm BST

In a rematch of the Hamburg Open final which finished 7-5 in the third set, fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas takes on Andrey Rublev for a place in the French Open semifinals on Wednesday.

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Tsitsipas is 0-3 vs Rublev, but each match has been close – will we see another epic clash between them, and which 22-year-old will prevail in this Roland Garros quarterfinal?

Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.

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Tsitsipas vs Rublev: Head-to-head

Andrey Rublev leads the head-to-head with Stefanos Tsitsipas 3-0. Each match has gone the distance, Rublev winning in three sets at the Quimper Challenger in 2017, in four sets at the US Open in 2019 and 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 at the Hamburg Open before the French Open began.

Tsitsipas vs Rublev: Preview

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev have been strangely in sync this tournament: They both contested the Hamburg Open final on what was the first day of Roland Garros 2020; they both came back from two sets down in the first round to win in five, in what was a career first for each; and both have looked largely untroubled since then.

Tsitsipas hasn’t dropped a set since the first round, gliding through with polished performances against Pablo Cuevas, Aljaz Bedene (who retired) and Grigor Dimitrov in a one-handed backhand duel in which he particularly impressed, looking much more incisive and able to power through the court.

Things have been a little trickier for Rublev, who dropped sets against both Alejandro Davidovich Fokina – no slouch on clay and not on bad form at all – and the talented, dangerous Marton Fucsovics in the fourth round. Like Tsitsipas’s win over Dimitrov, this was the most impressive victory: For once, Rublev had to be the steadier, more consistent player in the match, weathering Fucsovics’s ebbs and flows, and his ability to play the big points better and more cleverly earned him a place in the quarterfinals.

Tsitsipas does have a bit of a physical advantage, having had shorter matches, and ones less psychologically wearing than Rublev’s clash with Fucsovics, but the Russian is also match-tougher, having had to weather those storms.

Andrey Rublev (Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA)

Then there’s the head-to-head. All their matches have been close: Their two best-of-three matches have been settled by almost identical scorelines (30 and 31 matches respectively), their one Grand Slam match went to 48 games; the winning margin for Rublev has been 2, 4 and 4 games respectively. That suggests that Tsitsipas is close, and that this French Open quarterfinal clash could be extremely close, too; the Greek actually served for the match in Hamburg, only to end up being broken, losing the last three games and double-faulting the trophy away. I thought before this tournament that Rublev would make the semifinals. I still think that. But it’s going to be close.

Tsitsipas vs Rublev: Prediction

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Grigor Dimitrov face off in a one-handed backhand battle to see who will make their first French Open quarterfinal.

Tsitsipas vs Dimitrov is live from Roland Garros on Monday 5 October, 12pm local/1pm BST

A first appearance in the quarterfinals of the French Open is on the line when fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas takes on Grigor Dimitrov on Monday.

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After an early five-set test against Jaume Munar, it has been smooth sailing for Tsitsipas, who warmed up for the French Open by reaching the final in Hamburg. But he cannot afford to slip against the experienced Dimitrov if he is to make his first Grand Slam quarterfinal since his breakthrough run at the Australian Open.

Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.

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Tsitsipas vs Dimitrov: Head-to-head

This is the first meeting between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Grigor Dimitrov.

Tsitsipas vs Dimitrov: Preview

Given that his breakthrough run came at a Grand Slam – the 2019 Australian Open, when he defeated Roger Federer on his way to the semifinals – Stefanos Tsitsipas can hardly be labelled an underachiever on the major stage. But it is the case that while the Greek has climbed as high as world no. 5, won five ATP Tour titles including the incredibly prestigious Nitto ATP Finals and reached an additional seven finals including two at ATP Tour Masters 1000 Series level, Tsitsipas is 7-5 in Grand Slam matches since that first Australian Open run. And in that timespan, he has defeated just one player ranked inside the top 50 in a best-of-five sets match.

Tsitsipas has already done better than he did at the US Open, where he lost in the third round to Borna Coric despite holding six match points, and showed grit by surviving a five-set battle with Jaume Munar in the first round before delivering a polished performance against Pablo Cuevas, who had pushed him hard in Hamburg, in the second (Aljaz Bedene, who retired in the third set, was not much of a challenge in the third round).

Grigor Dimitrov (©PHOTOPQR/LE PARISIEN/Arnaud Journois)

But this fourth-round clash against Dimitrov could be a test – and not just because one gets the impression that Tsitsipas himself is desperate to make a deep run, not least at Roland Garros, where he was crushed to lose 6-8 in the fifth set to Stan Wawrinka last year.
While Dimitrov has yet to make a quarterfinal at Roland Garros, it’s the only Grand Slam he hasn’t reached the semifinals of, and he has a lot more experience than Tsitsipas at this level (it’s his tenth major fourth-round match). Dimitrov played well at the Rome Masters in the run-up, defeating Jannik Sinner on his way to the quarterfinals and a three-set defeat to Denis Shapovalov, and his run through the draw at the French Open has been very smooth, partly because he hasn’t faced the toughest opposition: Three players ranked, in order, 103, 102 and 101, none of whom have taken a set off him (Roberto Carballes Baena, who stunned Shapovalov in the previous round, retired trailing 1-6, 3-6).

This means he has a physical advantage coming into this one, especially having not played the week before the tournament as Tsitsipas did, but may also mean he’s less match-tough than the Greek.

It’s tough to call. Dimitrov and Tsitsipas’s games are superficially similar, and neither really suited to these conditions. Tsitsipas is probably better at powering through these courts, but it feels as though Dimitrov has a physical advantage. The challenge is definitely there for the fifth seed to step up, impose himself on this match and this tournament and book himself a place in the quarterfinals; I’m backing him to do just that.

Tsitsipas vs Dimitrov: Prediction

Aljaz Bedene beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in Rotterdam in February – can the fifth seed get revenge when they meet again at Roland Garros?

Tsitsipas vs Bedene is live from Roland Garros on Saturday 3 October, 1pm local/12pm BST

After a dramatic first-round match which went the distance, world no. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas tightened things up for a dominant win over Pablo Cuevas to make the last 32 at the French Open – now he’s up against a player who beat him in their last encounter.

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Aljaz Bedene beat Tsitsipas in straight sets in Rotterdam – can he do it again to make the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time in Paris?

Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.

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Tsitsipas vs Bedene: Head-to-head

Aljaz Bedene won the only previous match these two have played when he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5, 6-4 at the ABN AMRO WTT in Rotterdam in February. That match took place on indoor hard courts.

Tsitsipas vs Bedene: Preview

This is the second time in the past month or so that Stefanos Tsitsipas has come into a Grand Slam with very positive energy from the previous week. At the US Open, he came in on the back of a semifinal run in ‘Cincinnati’ – only to lose in the third round to Borna Coric despite holding six match points. This week, he came into Roland Garros having just made an excellent run to the final in Hamburg, beating Pablo Cuevas, Dusan Lajovic and Christian Garin before losing to Andrey Riblev. Can he avoid losing in the third round this time?

Tsitsipas has already had a close encounter of the five-set kind with defeat, having lost the first two sets against Jaume Munar before digging deep and pulling off the first comeback win of his career from such a position. Under the circumstances, I expected a long, tight match with Pablo Cuevas in the second round – they had played a close, high-quality one in Hamburg – but Tsitsipas rose to the occasion and dominated for a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 victory.

The Greek lost just four points on his first serve and kept the unforced errors below 30 in his disciplined victory over Cuevas – now can he bring the same form against Bedene?

Aljaz Bedene (AAP Image/Michael Dodge)

This is the fourth time Bedene has reached the third round of a Grand Slam, and second time at the French Open after doing so in 2016 when he lost to Novak Djokovic in straight sets. The Slovenian, runner-up in Metz towards the end of last year, is not far off breaking back into the top 50 – his career-high ranking was world no. 43 in 2018 – and after reaching two ATP Tour quarterfinals in the first couple months of the year in Doha and Rotterdam, had a good ‘Cincinnati’ Masters where he reached the last 16 as a qualifier after wins over Christian Garin and Taylor Fritz.

Bedene’s win over Tsitsipas in Rotterdam was the second top-10 win of his career – the first came in Rome over Kevin Anderson via retirement – and he’s been very lucky with his opponents so far in Paris, defeating Arthur Rinderknech and Nikola Milojevic. Tsitsipas’s performance in that Rotterdam match was edgy and poor – he had the lead in the first set as well as multiple break points, but did not capitalise on his opportunities. It should not happen again: Even if Bedene should get into a lead, he doesn’t have the point-ending shots to prevent Tsitsipas getting back into the match. Assuming Tsitsipas can avoid a repeat of whatever demons assailed him during that US Open defeat to Coric, the Greek should reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the fourth time.

Tsitsipas vs Bedene: Prediction

After coming back from two sets down in his opening match at the French Open, can Stefanos Tsitsipas keep things simpler against Pablo Cuevas?

Tsitsipas vs Cuevas is live from Roland Garros on Thursday 1 October, 5pm local/4pm BST

It was always going to be a tight turnaround for the players who had reached the Hamburg Open final on Sunday to be ready to play and win at the French Open on Tuesday, but nobody quite expected both Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev to have to dig themselves out of 0-2 holes – both successfully doing so for the first time in their careers.

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Tsitsipas, now the highest seed in his quarter after Daniil Medvedev’s first-round exit, will hope to keep things simpler and shorter as he takes on Pablo Cuevas, a classy clay-courter but one against whom he has a 3-0 record.

Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.

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Tsitsipas vs Cuevas: Head-to-head

Stefanos Tsitsipas leads the head-to-head 3-0 with Pablo Cuevas, and has not lost a set to the Uruguayan.

Their two most recent matches took place on clay, including a 7-5, 6-4 win for Tsitsipas in Hamburg last week.

Tsitsipas vs Cuevas: Preview

After an excruciating defeat at the US Open when he lost six match points slip by in a five-set defeat to Borna Coric, Stefanos Tsitsipas had to be proud of the way that he fought back against Jaume Munar on Tuesday. Trailing 4-6, 2-6 to the Spaniard, Tsitsipas looked down and out, but dug deep to come back to win 4-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 in three hours and 13 minutes.

The ATP Finals champion still has not made it back to the quarterfinals of a major since his breakthrough semifinal run at the Australian Open last year, coming closest at last year’s French Open when he was edged 6-8 in the fifth set by Stan Wawrinka in the last 16. But with fourth seed Medvedev going out in the first round, Tsitsipas now has an opportunity to be the semifinalist from the only quarter of the draw without Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem or Rafael Nadal in it.

That’s a long way off, of course, but after playing Hamburg last week and doing well there – a necessary boost to his confidence and form after that US Open defeat and another loss at the Rome Masters, this one to Jannik Sinner – Tsitsipas will not want to go the distance any more than he has to and will be hoping to keep things much more straightforward against Cuevas.

Pablo Cuevas (Photo: Daniel Bockwoldt/dpa)

A top-20 player in 2016, after making a spectacular comeback from career-threatening injury issues, Cuevas has won six ATP Tour titles on clay including the Rio de Janeiro 500 in 2016, and made four ATP Tour finals besides, including Estoril last year where he was denied by Tsitsipas in the final. He is 5-22 against top-10 players, but those five wins include victories over both Stan Wawrinka and Rafael Nadal on clay; he has made the third round of the French Open four of the past five years, and had a solid four-set victory over Henri Laaksonen in the first round.

And yet, Tsitsipas does enjoy this very solid record against him – although if you saw their Hamburg clash last week, a very high-quality affair, you’ll know that that match was very close before Tsitsipas managed to get the win. The difference was more precise and effective serving from Tsitsipas, and the fact that he saved all five break points he faced while converting both of those he managed to create on Cuevas’s serve. I don’t think the conditions prevailing at the French Open will particularly suit either player, but Tsitsipas’s serve gives him the advantage. A fairly close three- or four-set match, with Tsitsipas the winner.

Tsitsipas vs Cuevas: Prediction

After a painful US Open defeat, fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas opens his Roland Garros campaign against Jaume Munar in Paris on Tuesday.

Tsitsipas vs Munar is live from Roland Garros on Tuesday 29 September, 3pm local/2pm BST

Stefanos Tsitsipas has an opportunity to make his deepest French Open run yet, landing in a quarter of the draw which contains none of the big three favourites for the title in Paris.

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Tsitsipas must adjust quickly to the cold, slow, wet conditions in autumnal Paris as he takes on Jaume Munar of Spain, looking for his second win over a top-10 player, in the first round on Tuesday.

Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.

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Tsitsipas vs Munar: Head-to-head

This will be the first meeting between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Jaume Munar.

Tsitsipas vs Munar: Preview

It was dubbed ‘the quarter of life’ by some when the draw came out – the quarter of the draw bracketed by Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev, with no Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Dominic Thiem blocking the way to the semifinals.

Can Tsitsipas take advantage? He made the fourth round of the French Open last year before having the misfortune of having to face Stan Wawrinka, losing 6-8 in the fifth in the finest men’s match of the tournament. After making back-to-back finals in February, the Greek looked poised for a good US Open run when he made the semifinals in ‘Cincinnati’, but allowed six match points to slip by in a very avoidable third-round defeat to Borna Coric at the US Open, and was then defeated by Jannik Sinner in his opening match at the Rome Masters.

Tsitsipas bounced back at the Hamburg European Open last week, beating a trio of excellent clay-courters – Dusan Lajovic, Christian Garin and Pablo Cuevas – to make it to the final, where he lost out to hard-hitting Andrey Rublev in three sets.

That should gave boosted his confidence after New York, but has left him with little time to adjust to the very different conditions in Paris, where both days of the tournament so far have been affected by rain and where it is cold, damp and players have been struggling to hit through the court with the new balls used by the French Open in 2020.

Jaume Munar (PA Images)

How will this affect Tsitsipas’s attacking style of play? We’ll get an inkling when he takes the court to face Munar on Tuesday. The Spaniard, currently ranked world no. 109, is 1-6 against top-10 players and his solitary victory did come on clay against Alexander Zverev in Marrakech in 2019.

Munar had a good win over David Ferrer in the first round of the French Open in 2018, but that was one of just three main-draw wins at Grand Slams he has scored so far, and so far in his career he’s mainly shone at Challenger level; post-shutdown in 2020, he lost in the first round of the US Open, retiring after two sets against Dominic Thiem, before losing in the first round of the Prostejov Challenger.

He did prepare for the French Open with a semifinal run at the Iasi Challenger, but the highest-ranked player he beat there was world no. 195, not great preparation for competing at this level. There’s no real reason to expect anything other than a straight-sets win for Tsitsipas.

Tsitsipas vs Munar: Prediction

Rafael Nadal returns to action while Novak Djokovic tries to rebound from shock US Open exit at the 2020 Rome Masters.

We break down the men’s singles draw, analyse the contenders and predict the semifinalists and champion as Djokovic, Nadal, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Matteo Berrettini lead the field at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, better known as the Rome Masters.

ATP Rome Masters Preview

The compressed and rescheduled European clay-court season gets its first big event at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, a combined Masters 1000 Series/WTA Premier-5 tournament played at the Foro Italico in Rome.

Usually a May event, this year the Rome Masters takes place from 14-21 September and is marked by the return to action of world no. 2 Rafael Nadal, looking for his tenth title in Rome as well as aiming to find his game after a six-month absence and ahead of his quest for a thirteenth French Open crown.

US Open semi/finalists Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev have pulled out, but those who made an earlier exit from New York than they wanted are in the field, including four-time Rome champion Novak Djokovic, Greece’s Tsitsipas and home favourite Berrettini.

How to watch the Rome Masters

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ATP Rome Draw Analysis

Novak Djokovic is looking for his fifth title at the Rome Masters (Foto Antonietta Baldassarre / Insidefoto/Sipa USA)

Top Quarter

Projected quarterfinal by seeding: Novak Djokovic (1) vs Gael Monfils (5)
No longer unbeaten in 2020, although still yet to lose a completed match, world no. 1 Djokovic takes the court in Rome surely still reeling from his shock US Open disqualification after accidentally striking a linesperson in the throat with a ball.

Djokovic has to look to the future, however, and he has an amazing record in Rome: Although the most recent of his fourth titles came in 2015, he has reached the final three times in subsequent years and the semifinal once. With a 50-9 record at the Foro Italico, Djokovic could face Felix Auger-Aliassime, who has made two ATP Tour finals on clay, in the third round; Auger-Aliassime has a first-round clash with the in-form Filip Krajinovic to contend with, and Kyle Edmund, who has beaten Djokovic on clay once before, is also in this section.

Gael Monfils makes his return to competition as Djokovic’s projected quarterfinal opponent, but could face US Open quarterfinalist Alex de Minaur in the second round, while all eyes will be on a potential second-round clash between Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori with the winner to face Monfils or de Minaur in the third round.

Predicted semifinalist: Djokovic

Second Quarter

Projected quarterfinal by seeding: Matteo Berrettini (4) vs David Goffin (6)
Berrettini and Goffin both fell in the round of 16 in New York, so will not have had long to practice on clay. Fourth seed Berrettini will be the focus of home hopes, having made the round of 16 in Rome last year, but could have a tough second-round opener against big-serving Jan-Lennard Struff; the winner of that one is projected to face Cristian Garin, who beat Berrettini in the Munich final last year, in the third round. Garin opens against Borna Coric, a US Open quarterfinalist who might be pressed to recover enough to challenge for that one.

David Goffin could face Marin Cilic, struggling for form but always dangerous, after a first-round bye; Karen Khachanov, who plays some of his best tennis on clay, could await in the third although he has a tough opener against rising Norwegian Casper Ruud.

Predicted semifinalist: Garin

Third quarter

Sefanos Tsitsipas was a Rome Masters semifinalist in 2019 (Photo Andrea Staccioli / Insidefoto/Sipa USA)

Projected quarterfinal by seeding: Fabio Fognini (7) vs Stefanos Tsitsipas (3)
Fognini, who lost to a Swiss qualifier ranked outside the top 300 when he made his return to competition in Kitzbuhel, comes in on a four-match losing streak stretching back to the Australian Open. One of the finest clay-courters on the ATP, who won a Masters 1000 Series on clay in Monte Carlo in 2019, Fognini has made one quarterfinal in 13 Rome appearances. He has a book to promote, though, and his draw isn’t awful: Kevin Anderson or Ugo Humbert in the second round, Denis Shapovalov possibly in the third; Guido Pella might be the only lurking threat.

Stefanos Tsitsipas is trying to rebound from letting six match points slip against Coric at the US Open. A semifinalist in Rome last year, Tsitsipas could face Italy’s youthful rising star Jannik Sinner in the second round and Grigor Dimitrov or perhaps Miomir Kecmanovic, a finalist in Kitzbuhel this week, in the third round.

Predicted semifinalist: Tsitsipas

Fourth quarter

Projected quarterfinal by seeding: Diego Schwartzman (8) vs Rafael Nadal (2)
Argentina’s Schwartzman has been on poor form lately, 2-3 on his return to competition, so there could be some opportunity in this section; Andrey Rublev, who is 19-5 and fresh from a quarterfinal run at the US Open, could take advantage, with Dan Evans or Hubert Hurkacz – neither playing particularly well right now – his potential second-round opponents.

This quarter though is all about Rafa. Playing for the first time since winning Acapulco in February, Nadal has a 61-6 record in Rome and is on a ten-match winning streak there after winning his eighth and ninth titles at the Foro Italico in 2018-19. The physical demands of adjusting back to matches is the big question mark for Nadal, and he certainly hasn’t been given an easy opening opponent; he’ll be up against US Open semifinalist Pablo Carreno Busta, given a performance bye into the second round, unless Carreno Busta withdraws.
Milos Raonic – not a natural clay-courter – or Dusan Lajovic, a runner-up at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters in 2019 but not playing well at the moment, could await in the third round; a very manageable draw for Nadal.

Semifinalist: Nadal

ATP Rome Masters Prediction

Semifinals:

Djokovic d. Garin
Nadal d. Tsitsipas

Final:

Djokovic d. Nadal

Can Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Borna Coric to reach the fourth round of the US Open for the first time?

Tsitsipas vs Coric is live from New York on Friday 4 September, time TBC

Fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas has yet to drop a set at this year’s US Open, the first edition of the tournament at which he has succeeded in winning back-to-back matches.

US Open 2020: Tournament information, schedules, latest news and live streaming information for the resilient Grand Slam in New York

The Greek looks for his first last-16 berth in New York as he takes on Borna Coric, hoping to make the fourth round of the US Open for the second time.

Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.

How to watch Tsitsipas vs Coric live

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Tsitsipas vs Coric: Head-to-head

There has only been one previous match between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Borna Coric, and that ended when Coric retired trailing 1-4 at the Rome Masters in 2018.

Tsitsipas vs Coric: Preview

World no. 6 Tsitsipas had never won back-to-back matches at the US Open before this year, but he had good preparation at the Western & Southern Open last week when he beat a succession of big servers to reach the semifinals before losing to Milos Raonic. And he had a good draw – one that’s getting better, too: The winner of his third-round clash with Coric won’t have to face a seeded player but instead either Jordan Thompson or Mikhail Kukushkin.

Tsitsipas, who was unlucky to have to face Andrey Rublev in the first round last year, has yet to drop a set at this year’s US Open, dusting two very different players in straights to reach the last 32: First veteran Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who it has to be said didn’t really look prepared to play, then wildcard Maxime Cressy, an American wildcard who turned out to be a serve-and-volley player. It’s rare that someone steals Tsitsipas’s thunder at the net that way, but the ATP Finals champion turned out to be more than capable of dealing with it, seeing off Cressy 7-6(2), 6-3, 6-4 in two and a half hours. He saved all four break points he faced, and has yet to be broken at this year’s US Open.

US Open Predictions and Betting Tips: Outright winner tips for men’s & women’s singles at the 2020 US Open

Given Cressy’s game, and the type of players he faced at the Western & Southern Open last week – Kevin Anderson, John Isner, Reilly Opelka and Raonic – Tsitsipas has clearly got into a good groove when it comes to taking on big servers who keep points short on these fast courts.

Borna Coric (PA Images)

Borna Coric will be a complete change of pace. The 23-year-old is much more in the baselining, even counterpunching mould. Two years older than Tsitsipas, Coric had his breakthrough all the way back in 2014 when he reached the semifinals of Basel, but it’s been an up-and-down ride since then for the Croatian as injury and inconsistency intervened.

Coric had his best season in 2018 when he reached world no. 12 after winning Halle, finishing runner-up in Shanghai and making the semifinals of the Indian Wells Masters (beating Roger Federer twice in the process). His 27-22 season in 2019 was a bit of a letdown by comparison, although it still had some highlights (having to give a walkover in the second round of the US Open not being one of them).

Coric went 1-5 in his first three tournaments of 2020, losing in the first round of the Australian Open to Sam Querrey, and had only just started to find his feet with a run to the semifinals of Santiago before the ATP Tour shut down. One of the unlucky players to contract COVID-19 during the hiatus, Coric doesn’t seem to have been too badly hit by it; he lost to David Goffin at the Western & Southern Open after beating an off-colour Benoit Paire, who ultimately retired after losing the first seven games of the match, but any lingering physical weakness would have been exposed by his second-round battle with Juan Ignacio Londero. Coric had to come back from two sets to one down in the four-hour, 22-minute match.

This will be the first real meeting between Tsitsipas and Coric, and while Coric’s game can be effective against aggressive players as he soaks up pressure with his excellent movement and defense before transitioning into attack, he hasn’t really shown very good form recently. I think the Croatian will take a set, but a disciplined attacking performance from Tsitsipas should see him neatly into the last 16.

Tsitsipas vs Coric: Prediction

Can Stefanos Tsitsipas beat wildcard Maxime Cressy to make the third round of the US Open for the first time on Wednesday?

Tsitsipas vs Cressy is live from New York on Wednesday 2 September, time TBC

An Australian Open semifinalist in 2019, when he announced himself with a win over Roger Federer, Stefanos Tsitsipas has yet to make the third round of the US Open after defeats to Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev in 2018-19.

US Open 2020: Tournament information, schedules, latest news and live streaming information for the resilient Grand Slam in New York

After a semifinal run at the ‘Cincinnati’ Masters, however, Tsitsipas looked sharp in a one-sided victory over Spanish veteran Albert Ramos-Vinolas. He’ll be aiming to keep up the pace as he takes on American wildcard Maxime Cressy on Wednesday.

Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.

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Tsitsipas vs Cressy: Head-to-head

This will be the first match between Tsitsipas and Cressy.

Tsitsipas vs Cressy: Preview

The reigning ATP Finals champion looks for back-to-back wins at the US Open for the first time on Wednesday – and if numbers are anything to go by, he will get it.

Fourth-seeded Tsitsipas, drawn in the same quarter as Alexander Zverev, his predecessor as ATP Finals champion, wasted absolutely no time in beating Ramos-Vinolas 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 to begin his US Open campaign. Ramos-Vinolas, playing his first match since Santiago in February, did not offer much resistance but Tsitsipas banged down 13 aces and lost just four points behind his first serve through the 100-minute match – although seven winners and 28 unforced errors from Ramos-Vinolas does not sound impressive.

US Open Predictions and Betting Tips: Outright winner tips for men’s & women’s singles at the 2020 US Open

If this was Tsitsipas’s first tournament since the shutdown, I might be concerned on his behalf that a too-easy first-round match doesn’t adequately prepare him for tougher challenges. But Tsitsipas got four matches under his belt in ‘Cincinnati’ last week, although one was a retirement, beating a succession of big servers – Kevin Anderson, John Isner, Reilly Opelka – before losing to another, Milos Raonic.

Even in the Raonic match, Tsitsipas had set point in the first set although he rather fell apart after that and the Greek is now 17-6 in 2020 and justly favoured heading into Wednesday’s clash with Cressy.

French-American Cressy is playing the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time after losing in the first round of qualifying on both his previous attempts. The 23-year-old, who played college tennis for UCLA, is currently ranked world no. 168 and earned his wildcard after strong Challenger results over the past 12 months, reaching the Ismaning final in 2019 and then winning Drummondville and finishing runner-up in Calgary earlier in 2020.

Cressy reached the second round in New York with a four-set victory over Jozef Kovalik. Tsitsipas will be not merely the first top-10 opponent he has faced, but the first top-100 opponent he has faced. A one-sided victory for the Greek player is expected.

Tsitsipas vs Cressy: Prediction

Novak Djokovic is the man to beat but is there a player in the US Open men’s singles draw in a position to do it?

We break down the men’s singles draw, analyse the contenders and predict the semifinalists and champion as Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev lead the draw at the 2020 US Open.

US Open 2020: Preview

The 2020 US Open is being played behind closed doors, with players (hopefully) adhering to strict health and safety protocols and enclosed in a bio-security bubble. With no fans and no strolling the streets of Manhattan in the evening, some of the ATP’s top players have opted not to travel, with defending champion Rafael Nadal, five-time winner Roger Federer and 2016 champion Stan Wawrinka among the absentees.
As the solitary representative of the Big Four who is a realistic prospect for the title, the trophy looks to be Novak Djokovic’s to lose, especially with the top seed coming in unbeaten in 2020 and quickly finding his feet at the ‘Cincinnati’-New York Masters. Is Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev or Dominic Thiem in a position to stop him?

US Open Draw Analysis

Top Quarter

Projected quarterfinal by seeding: Novak Djokovic (1) vs David Goffin (7)
The overwhelming favourite for the title, with a 21-0 record in 2020 at the time of writing and the experience of winning 17 majors when almost every other player in the draw has yet to lift one, Djokovic is everybody’s favourite for US Open champion, especially after the way he has played at the Western & Southern Open this week.

Nothing about the draw has changed that. Djokovic opens against Damir Dzumhur and could face Kyle Edmund – who has beaten him on clay before, but is unlikely to repeat the feat on a hard court most describe as playing fast – in the second round, with Jan-Lennard Struff, whom he trounced this week in ‘Cincinnati’, a likely third-round opponent. John Isner, who has lost his last seven matches against Djokovic, could await in the last 16.

Denis Shapovalov has an opportunity to make a deep run (PA Images)

With seventh seed David Goffin facing big-serving Reilly Opelka in the first round – assuming Opelka has recovered from the knee injury that saw him retire against Tsitsipas on Wednesday – opportunity knocks for another quarterfinalist. Canada’s Denis Shapovalov has been spinning his wheels in 2020, but he’s got a good opportunity here – unless Filip Krajinovic, who played brilliant tennis to reach the Western & Southern Open quarterfinals, can pull an upset.

Predicted semifinalist: Djokovic (7/25 @ 888Sport to win first quarter)

Second Quarter

Projected quarterfinal by seeding: Stefanos Tsitsipas (4) vs Alexander Zverev (5)
Should it come to a quarterfinal clash between these two ATP Finals champions, it’s advantage Tsitsipas – the Greek leads the head-to-head 5-1.

He also looks much more likely to reach the last eight than Zverev. Tsitsipas has warmed up nicely with a run to the semifinals (at the time of writing) at the Western & Southern Open, and if he can safely navigate a first-round clash with savvy Spanish veteran Albert Ramos-Vinolas – a former French Open quarterfinalist, but less at home at the US Open – then there are no other players in his path to really threaten before the quarterfinals.

Stefanos Tsitsipas has an advantage over fellow ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev (PA Images)

That’s not the case for Zverev, who has to deal with former finalist Kevin Anderson in the first round, and a potential rematch with Diego Schwartzman, the tenacious Argentine who knocked him out of the US Open in the round of 16 in 2019, in the third. Big-serving Pole Hubert Hurkacz is also in this section. Overall, this looks like a clear opportunity for Tsitsipas to make a run.

Predicted semifinalist: Tsitsipas (6/5 @ Unibet to win second quarter)

Third quarter

Projected quarterfinal by seeding: Matteo Berrettini (6) vs Daniil Medvedev (3)
Medvedev has been at the head of a short list of contenders who could potentially challenge Djokovic for the title, and being placed in the bottom half of the draw – so he can only face Djokovic in the final – has only improved his chances. The 2019 runner-up drew on energy from the New York crowd to fuel his run to the final, and his spirited five-set challenge to Nadal; this year, he can neither draw on them, nor on the lack of expectation which was on his shoulders in 2019. How will he cope?

The Russian played a solid couple of Western & Southern Open matches, but his failure to adapt to his opponent’s tactical shift saw him lose from what looked like a firm winning position – not for the first time. In order to win this title, Medvedev needs to keep his matches short in the first week and he has the draw to do it, opening against Federico Delbonis with Guido Pella in the third round and one of last year’s surprise semifinalists, Grigor Dimitrov, possibly in the fourth – but does he have the focus?

Could Andrey Rublev be the surprise package at this year’s US Open? (PA Images)

At the top of this section, big-serving Matteo Berrettini has only played four matches so far in 2020 so is coming in incredibly light on match fitness; could the 2019 semifinalist be vulnerable to an early upset, possibly at the hands of Casper Ruud or rising Finn Emil Ruusuvuori?
It’s Andrey Rublev who’s the man to watch in this quarter. The Russian is 15-4 in 2020 and made the last 16 of last year’s US Open before losing to Berrettini. If Medvedev is to falter, Rublev is the man to take advantage – but he’s 0-3 against his compatriot.

Predicted semifinalist: Rublev (13/2 @ 888Sport to win his quarter)

Fourth quarter

Projected quarterfinal by seeding: Roberto Bautista Agut (8) vs Dominic Thiem (2)
What to make of Thiem’s US Open chances? The Austrian pushed Djokovic all the way in the Australian Open final in January, but a brutal one-sided defeat to Krajinovic at the Western & Southern Open has dented his contender status.

Perhaps it was just a fluke – Krajinovic is a very talented player who had a great week – but if Thiem has to play his way into form, that could mean lengthy matches in the first week which could drain his reserves ahead of bigger clashes in the second.

Opening against Jaume Munar, Thiem could face 2014 champion Marin Cilic in the third round, and there are a few potential challenges in the fourth: Felix Auger-Aliassime, the Canadian overdue for a solid run at a major; Andy Murray, who may have a metal hip but also has more experience winning matches than anybody else in the draw save Djokovic; and Dan Evans, who is having a career-best year.

Milos Raonic has looked on good form at the Western & Southern Open (PA Images)

Bautista Agut, meanwhile, impressed with a win over Medvedev to reach the Western & Southern Open semifinals, but he has a tough first round against Tennys Sandgren and looks likely to meet Milos Raonic – who leads their head-to-head 5-0 – in the third round. Another big server, like Karen Khachanov, Sam Querrey or Ivo Karlovic, could lurk for the winner of that one in the fourth. I like Raonic’s chances to make a quarterfinal run, and it looks by no means certain that he’ll meet Thiem there.

Semifinalist: Raonic (4/1 @ William Hill to win his quarter)

US Open 2020 Men’s Singles: Prediction

Semifinals: Djokovic d. Tsitsipas
Rublev vs Raonic

Final: Djokovic d. Rublev