Fixture: Milos Raonic vs Adrian Mannarino
Date: 15 September 2020
Tournament: Italian Open 2020
Round: First round (Round of 64)
Venue: Rome, Italy
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €3,465,045
Match timing: 4.30 pm CEST, 8 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Sony Six
Milos Raonic vs Adrian Mannarino preview
13th seed Milos Raonic will get his claycourt campaign underway against Adrian Mannarino in the first round of the 2020 Rome Masters.
The big-serving Canadian will be looking to get his season back on track after a blip at the US Open. Raonic reached the final at the Western & Southern Open where he pushed Novak Djokovic to a decider, but failed to go past the second round in the New York Slam.
Adrian Mannarino, on the other hand, had a slightly better showing at the US Open. The Frenchman made it to the third round before losing to eventual runner-up Alexander Zverev in four sets.
However, when it comes to clay, the recent form of both players won’t count for much. Neither Raonic nor Mannarino has had any match practice on clay for well over a year; in fact, the Canadian last played a claycourt tournament way back in May 2018.
This match presents a great opportunity for Milos Raonic to find his footing ahead of a packed claycourt schedule. For Mannarino, however, this is one of the trickiest match-ups he could have asked for in the opening round.
That said, neither player enjoys clay as much as the faster surfaces. Raonic and Mannarino both prefer the ball to come to their racquets at a good pace, and that is something not afforded to them on dirt.
Milos Raonic vs Adrian Mannarino head-to-head
Milos Raonic leads Adrian Mannarino by a margin of 2-1 in the head-to-head. The Canadian won their most recent encounter in 2018, and also won their only previous match-up on clay (French Open, 2016).
Milos Raonic vs Adrian Mannarino prediction
His early loss at the US Open notwithstanding, Milos Raonic has been playing some scintillating tennis over the past month or so. His serve and forehand have been working well during this period, and he’ll hope that that continues.
Raonic's net play has also seen considerable improvement, and he’s been able to close out points more efficiently in the forecourt. That will be an important factor against Mannarino, who often struggles against variety.
Raonic should find holding serve fairly straightforward, as Mannarino isn't known for his returns. That said, the Canadian would have to be wary of the southpaw’s wide-swinging serve in the ad court.
Mannarino isn’t the biggest of baseline hitters, and relies on his cross-court groundstrokes to create difficult angles for the opponent. But the slowness of the surface could help give the Canadian more time to return such shots.
Prediction: Milos Raonic to win in straight sets.Published 14 Sep 2020, 19:07 IST