ATP Rome Masters Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks
- Novak Djokovic has stolen a march on Rafael Nadal ahead of the clay season
- Milos Raonic worth a second look as a big-priced outsider
- Clay specialist Guido Pella good value ahead of clash with Denis Shapovalov
ATP Rome Masters Odds
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ATP Rome Masters Predictions and Picks
Milos Raonic is capable of clay and would be an awkward third-round opponent for Rafael Nadal. He’s worth a small wager at +5000 with BetMGM.
Claycourt expert Guido Pella looks a lively underdog against Denis Shapovalov and is worth backing as a +105 outsider at BetRivers and BetMGM.
How to Watch ATP Rome Masters
|ATP Rome Masters Information|
|What||ATP Rome Masters|
|Where||Foro Italico, Rome, Italy|
|When||Monday September 14 to Monday September 21|
|How to Watch||Tennis Channel, ESPN share coverage|
Djokovic Can Tame Nadal
My approach to these previews has been to choose one from the top of the outright market and a value pick from lower down. The former can quickly be whittled down to two here – Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic take up a huge portion of the book and it’s easy to see why.
Thirteen of the last 15 titles at the famous Foro Italico venue have been won by the pair, who have contested seven finals in Rome.
Nadal is unquestionably the greatest claycourt player of all time but he arrives here having not played a competitive match since February. He didn’t even contest any of the many exhibition events which took place during the tour’s shutdown. He’s favourite based solely on his past record, which of course is a fantastic one, but it’s worth remembering that in 2013 after a similarly long lay-off, he did take at least a little time to get back into his stride, losing to Horacio Zeballos on clay in his first tournament.
The field here is much stronger, packed with top players desperate for matches ahead of the forthcoming French Open. They include Djokovic, who looks a better bet at the price. He’s already well down the road on the tour’s comeback having won the Western and Southern Open prior to his sensational default at the US Open.
He may have missed out on another Grand Slam title but he’s proved he’s back playing well and his strong claycourt record means he shouldn’t be too concerned about the surface switch.
Importantly, the world number one also has a good record against Nadal on clay – their most recent 10 matches on the surface have been split 5-5. He’s won three of their seven Rome finals.
Of the two big guns, Djokovic looks the better value at +250.
Milos Worth a Wager
There aren’t too many players you’d expect to be beating Nadal and Djokovic this week, but one who has the potential to do so is Milos Raonic. He could meet Nadal in the last 16, a match which would be the Spaniard’s second of the event (he plays Pablo Carreno Busta in his opener). Raonic’s booming serve might just be able to catch him cold after so long without match play.
The Canadian has proved his game is in good shape having taken Djokovic to three sets in the final of the recent Western and Southern Open.
He’s also beaten Nadal on clay before in Madrid. It admittedly plays quicker there due to the higher altitude but with temperatures in Rome expected to be higher this week than they would have been in the event’s original May slot, conditions could be faster than usual which would suit Raonic, who on all surfaces has beaten Nadal in two of their last five meetings.
Raonic is no fool on clay – he’s made the semis here before – and could go well at a big price.
Match Bet: Get With Guido
Guido Pella looks to have a strong chance as a slight underdog against Denis Shaplovalov in Rome. The Canadian is presumably favourite after showing improved form with a decent run at the US Open where he made the quarter-finals. But his record on clay is poor – this is not his surface, as evidenced by his 2-6 win-loss record on it during last year’s European claycourt season.
In contrast, Argentina’s Pella is a natural on the red dirt.
He was back on it last week in Kitzbuhel and was unfortunate to lose in a final-set tie-break to the big-serving Feliciano Lopez at the high-altitude venue.
Conditions will be much different down in Rome so he’ll have to adapt but he should be able to do that given his propensity for clay and remember his opponent arrives having only been playing in the hardcourts on Wednesday night in New York.
A champion last year in Sao Paulo and four times a runner-up on the tour on clay, Pella can deliver for his backers in this one.
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Andy is a sports journalist of more than 20 years’ experience and is a former betting editor of the UK-based website, Sporting Life. He has specialized in tennis for many years, previewing hundreds of ATP Tour events and reporting from tournaments such as the ATP Finals and Davis Cup final. Andy has also covered numerous other sports, with a particular interest in soccer and cricket.