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    Day 5 Preview: Stan Wawrinka Steps Up Comeback In Novak Djokovic Showdown | ATP Tour

    For the primary time this week on the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, all remaining males’s singles opponents will play on the identical day. Eight third-round matches fill a packed Thursday schedule, with every of the match’s Prime 5 seeds nonetheless standing.

    The twenty sixth ATP Head2Head assembly between Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka headlines the Centre Court docket night session, with defending champion Rafael Nadal, 2017 champion Alexander Zverev and residential favorite Jannik Sinner additionally in motion on the stadium court docket.

    In doubles motion, the unlikely first-time pairing of John Isner and Diego Schwartzman tackle fifth-seeded Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah with a quarter-final place on the road.

    View Schedule | View Singles Draw | View Doubles Draw

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

    Djokovic leads Wawrinka 19-6 of their rivalry with a 2-0 mark in Rome, together with a three-set win within the 2008 ultimate. With a victory on Thursday, the World No. 361 Swiss — who entered the ATP Masters 1000 occasion with a protected rating — would turn into the lowest-ranked participant to achieve the Rome quarter-finals and to defeat a World No. 1 in a tour-level match for the reason that ATP Tour started in 1990.

    Wawrinka received the pair’s final two conferences, within the 2016 US Open ultimate and the 2019 US Open fourth spherical, with the latter coming by the use of a third-set retirement. Whereas the 37-year-old seeks a twenty fifth Masters 1000 quarter-final and a fourth in Rome, Djokovic is bidding for his 89th quarter-final at that stage. The Serbian has by no means failed to achieve the quarter-final stage in 16 earlier appearances within the Italian capital.

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    Djokovic should attain the semi-finals this week to retain his place atop the Pepperstone ATP Rankings — he presently sits at No. 2 within the Pepperstone ATP Reside Rankings as he defends 600 factors from reaching final yr’s Rome ultimate — and can hit 1,000 profession wins with a visit to the ultimate.

    After incomes his first tour-level win in 15 months by beating Reilly Opelka in three units within the opening spherical, Wawrinka once more went the space to knock off Laslo Djere on Wednesday. Regardless of these outcomes, he downplayed his probabilities towards the World No. 1. 

    “Novak, it may be robust. A tricky problem for positive,” Wawrinka stated in his post-match presser. “I am not the place I need to be but. I would like matches, I would like observe, I must spend time on the health. It is a good problem to play him, after all.

    “I do not suppose I am able to play at that stage but, however it may be fascinating to see. I must get by way of these matches the subsequent few months.”

    Djokovic, who appeared sharp in a straight-sets win over Aslan Karatsev on Tuesday, is looking for his first title in 5 occasions this season.

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

    In an all-lefty conflict, Nadal takes on 2020 Rome semi-finalist Shapovalov in a rematch of a third-round epic from final yr. The Spaniard saved two match factors earlier than clinching a deciding-set tie-break after three hours, 27 minutes on his technique to a tenth title in Rome in 2021, and Nadal is ready for one more stern take a look at Thursday as he chases his a hundredth Masters 1000 quarter-final look.

    “Final yr was a joke, the match that I saved right here towards him [Shapovalov],” Nadal stated after beating Isner within the second spherical on Wednesday. “[I was] tremendous fortunate. I understand how harmful he’s. I must play nicely, after all. I must play higher than at this time, however after some time with out being on court docket it’s one other victory and I’ve the possibility once more to play towards probably the greatest gamers on the planet.”

    Shapovalov trails Nadal 1-4 within the pair’s ATP Head2Head collection, however the Canadian once more pushed Nadal all the best way of their solely assembly since final yr’s Rome basic — a five-set win for the Spaniard within the quarter-finals at January’s Australian Open. Shapovalov’s yr has considerably stalled since that defeat and he’s 15-8 for the season, however the thirteenth seed has already demonstrated his resilience this week by coming by way of a raucous first-round conflict with residence favorite Lorenzo Sonego.

    [5] Casper Ruud (NOR) vs. Jenson Brooksby (USA)

    Ruud’s European clay outcomes have been underwhelming by his requirements to date this yr, with the World No. 10 profitable simply 4 matches throughout 4 tournaments previous to Rome. That disappointing run was in peril of continuous within the Italian capital when he dropped the opening set to Botic van de Zandschulp on Tuesday, however the fifth seed stepped as much as full a comeback win as he bids to enhance on his 2020 semi-final look on the Foro Italico.

    Unseeded Brooskby notched a powerful win of his personal on Tuesday, taking out David Goffin to achieve the third spherical in simply his second clay-court Masters 1000 occasion. Brooksby has been strong in backing up his breakout 2021 season this yr, reaching the ultimate on the Dallas Open, and his maiden ATP Head2Head assembly with clay-court power Ruud guarantees an intriguing spectacle.

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    Second seed Alexander Zverev seeks his a hundredth win on the ATP Masters 1000 stage within the day’s opening match towards Alex de Minaur on Centre Court docket. The 2017 champion in Rome can be bidding for his fourth quarter-final on the occasion as he seeks his first title of a 22-8 season. Zverev and de Minaur have solely performed on laborious courts of their six ATP Head2Head conferences, with Zverev main the collection 5-1 and taking their most up-to-date assembly in three units final yr in Vienna.

    House favorite Jannik Sinner, contemporary off a three-set battle with fellow Italian Fabio Fognini, performs Filip Krajinovic in a while the present court docket. Each males have been to a number of Masters 1000 quarter-finals, Sinner thrice earlier than and the Serbian twice, however neither has been past the final 16 in Rome.

    On Grand Stand Enviornment, fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas will tackle Karen Khachanov within the first males’s match on. The Greek, who saved two match factors towards Grigor Dimitrov on Wednesday, is 4-0 towards the World No. 24. If he can preserve that excellent report intact, Tsitsipas will break a tie with Carlos Alcaraz for 2022 ATP Tour match wins lead with a report of 29-9.

    Doubles

    Isner and Schwartzman look to make it 2-0 of their new partnership as they tackle Cabal and Farah on Court docket 2. Isner holds a powerful 19-4 doubles report on the yr, together with Masters 1000 titles in Indian Wells (with Jack Sock) and Miami (with Hubert Hurkacz). He additionally reached the Madrid semis with Hurkacz, incomes him a career-high Pepperstone ATP Doubles Rating of No. 22.

    Cabal and Farah reached the Madrid ultimate final week however dropped a Match Tie-break to Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski, who eradicated Isner and Hurkacz one spherical earlier. Koolhof and Skupski are additionally in motion in Rome as they tackle Rohan Bopanna and Matwe Middelkoop for a spot within the Rome quarter-finals.

    The doubles quarter-final slate might be accomplished following six matches on Thursday.

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