Alcaraz stunned by qualifier Maroszan
New outright favourite Djokovic facing Norrie test
Coric well placed to end Maroszan's run
Outright market reacting to Alcaraz's exit
Arguably the biggest shock of the 2023 season took place yesterday in the Italian capital with 1.021/50 shot and tournament favourite Carlos Alcaraz dumped out by qualifier Fabian Marozsan, who is still to break into the top 100.
Not just dumped out, but Alcaraz lost the total points count 58% to 42% to Marozsan, who hit 24 winners and made just 13 unforced errors.
Alcaraz's exit means that Novak Djokovic is the 2.3211/8 outright favourite and numerous players, including Jannik Sinner, Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev at around the 6.05/1 mark. Rublev picked up a winner for us yesterday, defeating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in straight sets.
As earlier this week, rain delays have caused issues with the schedule, and only five matches were completed yesterday, meaning that remaining round of 32 matches need to be finished tomorrow, and then creating a quick turnaround tomorrow. This, in theory at least, should benefit Daniil Medvedev tomorrow if Alexander Zverev is pushed to a deciding set by JJ Wolf.
Djokovic looking short-priced against Norrie
With the extra matches on the card, action begins as usual at 1000 UK time, and tournament favourite Djokovic gets the schedule underway against the Brit, Cameron Norrie.
The world number one is 1.171/6 to get past Norrie, which is pretty much the same line Djokovic was against Grigor Dimitrov in the previous round when he dropped a set against the Bulgarian.
Norrie's performances on clay this year suggest he's quite a reasonable upgrade in quality over the current version of Dimitrov, having won 12 of his 16 matches on the surface in 2023.
With Djokovic still to convince following his elbow problems, it's far from impossible to think Norrie will give him a decent test.
Of the known matches so far on the Tuesday schedule, all favourites are priced at 1.501/2 or below, with Sinner plus Holger Rune priced around the same line as Djokovic. It would be a pretty decent shock if either were defeated.
Coric with huge data edge over Maroszan
Maroszan is straight back into action against Borna Coric, with Coric priced up as the 1.501/2 favourite to end the Hungarian's dream tournament.
It's quite incredible to consider that he'd lost five of his last six before this event, and hadn't won back-to-back matches since mid-March. Prior to this tournament, he'd never beaten, or even taken a set from, a player ranked inside the top 100.
Due to this, I can't have this market over-reaction. It's not like Maroszan had been dominating Challengers before this tournament - his record was decent but not mind-blowing - and when Coric had played clay Challengers in the last year, his numbers, mainly on serve, were far superior.
Ruud facing test from competent Djere
The other match which intrigues me a little is Casper Ruud at 1.4740/85 against Laslo Djere, who beat the Norwegian on hard court in Auckland in January.
Djere is a pretty competent clay-courter, who reached the top 30 a few years back, and after several decent wins here as a marginal favourite and a Challenger final just over a week ago, could well compete with Ruud and keep it close at the very least.