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Italian Open 2019: Men's singles draw analysis

ANALYST
Feature
461   //    Timeless

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

The draw for the Italian Open was released yesterday. Let us have a look at how this tournament is expected to pan out after a fantastic week here in Madrid.

Roger Federer, who suffered a quarter-final defeat to Dominic Thiem in Madrid, has only just confirmed his participation in the Italian Open. But the draw has done him no favors, as he has been put in the same section as Nadal and Thiem. Meanwhile Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro, Alexander Zverev and Kei Nishikori are in the top-half of the draw.

Top half

There is an interesting first round match line up, between the young Russian Daniil Medvedev and Nick Kyrgios. This will mark their first meeting on the professional tour. Medvedev, who lost in the first round of the Madrid Open to Guido Pella, will look to bounce in Rome.

David Goffin will face Stan Wawrinka in a blockbuster first round match too. The winner of this match will face Del Potro in the second round. The Argentine, who is seeded 7th in Rome, will try to push as hard as he can in this tournament even though he revealed in Madrid that he is still not completely fit.

In the second round, Frenchman Gael Monfils might face Diego Schwartzman in a match promises several long rallies.

Grigor Dimitrov, who has been trying hard to make an impact on clay, will face the tall German Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round. Considering the form of the German, it will take a lot from Dimitrov to come out of this match as the winner.

Bottom half

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has entered this tournament by using his protected ranking, and will face Fabio Fognini in the first round. That will be a mouth-watering contest if Tsonga's fitness is back to optimal levels after a series of injuries.

Borna Coric will face a stiff challenge in the form of Felix Auger-Aliassime in the first round. We can expect a cracker of a contest from this one as well.

Federer will possibly face the young American Frances Tiafoe in the second round. The Swiss won all their three meetings back in 2017 and so will be considered the favorite to win this one too.

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In another interesting first-round match, Frenchmen Jeremy Chardy and Richard Gasquet will face each other for the seventh time in their career. Gasquet leads their head-to-head record with 5 wins against just 1 loss.

The winner of this contest face Nadal in the second round.

Matches to look forward to in the initial rounds:

1) Daniil Medvedev vs Nick Kyrgios (1st round)

2) Pablo Carreno Busta vs Denis Shapovalov (1st round)

3) David Goffin vs Stan Wawrinka (1st round)

4) Diego Schwartzman vs Gael Monfils (2nd round)

5) Grigor Dimitrov vs Jan-Lennard Struff (1st round)

6) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Fabio Fognini (1st round)

7) Borna Coric vs Felix Auger-Aliassime (1st round)

8) Fernando Verdasco vs Kyle Edmund (1st round)

9) Jeremy Chardy vs Richard Gasquet (1st round)

10) Karen Khachanov vs Roberto Bautista Agut (2nd round)

Projected quarter-final match-ups

1) Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev

2) Alexander Zverev vs Kei Nishikori

3) Fabio Fognini vs Roger Federer

4) Dominic Thiem vs Rafael Nadal

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