TennisSection previews the 2021 Rome Open as Novak Djokovic (1) meets Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the Round of 16 on Thursday May 13th, 2021.
World number one Novak Djokovic has looked solid since his return to the ATP Tour. Can he continue going from strength to strength as he aims to defend his title here at the 2021 Rome Open? Or will the impressive youngster Alejandro Davidovich be able to cause the massive upset? This looks like a relatively easy path to the Quarter-Finals for the Serbian star, but he has not seemed himself since the start of the clay court season and he is coming up against an in-form opponent. Who will get the win and advance to the Quarter-Finals here at the 2021 Rome Open?
Novak Djokovic is currently ranked number one in the world, and is the defending champion here at the 2021 Rome Open. After a strong start to the season where he claimed the Australian Open title, the number one seed has had mixed results, with some stunning losses to Dan Evans and Aslan Karatsev. Djokovic will be eager to have a strong showing here at the 2021 Rome Open, as he gears up for an assault on the French Open title. He has started strongly here in Rome, defeating Taylor Fritz in two tough sets. While he was pushed by the young American, he never seemed in danger of losing and while rusty, was displaying his trademark counterpunching ability, controlling the tempo of the match. This match against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina will be a much stronger test for the Serbian, and he would be wise to not underestimate his young opponent here.
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina is currently ranked a career-high #48 in the ATP world rankings and is an exceptional young player. Always known for his potential, he is finally living up to it this year, and is coming off a first Masters-1000 Quarter-Final in Monte-Carlo. The young Spaniard has been outstanding so far here at the 2021 Rome Open, upsetting Grigor Dimitrov in the First Round and dismantling Cameron Norrie in just over an hour in the second. While he obviously enters this match as the huge underdog, his confidence is at an all-time high, and he is playing fearless tennis. Novak Djokovic is a legend of the game, but hasn’t been himself lately and has struggled against lower ranked opponents lately. Can Davidovich Fokina take advantage and cause the huge upset here in Rome?
This will be the first meeting between the two players on the ATP Tour, and their head to head stands at 0-0. This match has the potential to be much closer than many expect, as the young Spaniard has really improved recently and has the firepower to trouble the world number one, especially if he is not at his best. While I do expect Alejandro Davidovich Fokina to put up a strong challenge, it is unlikely that he will be able to sustain enough pressure to come away with the victory here. Novak Djokovic is not yet at 100%, but he has laser focus and a wealth of experience, which will prove too much for the youngster to handle. I wouldn’t be surprised to see two very close sets, maybe even a tiebreaker, but expect the world number one to come away with an extremely tough two-setter here, advancing to the Quarter-Finals here at the 2021 Rome Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Novak Djokovic to win.