Second round action at the Rome Masters continues on Wednesday with 12 more matches on the schedule. Our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, returns to give his thoughts on the day ahead...
"Conversely, Sonego is 6-1 on clay this season with a title in Cagliari a month ago, and his only loss came at the hands of the Madrid winner, Alexander Zverev, in Monte Carlo, earlier this month."
Djokovic among Tuesday's round two winners
Only a few of the anticipated round two matches yesterday got played, with Novak Djokovic getting a welcome win over Taylor Fritz, although it wasn't particularly straightforward - the world number one actually faced more break points on his serve than the American - which may not give his backers particular confidence at this stage of the event.
There were also some surprising second round wins for Felix Auger-Aliassime over Diego Schwartzman, and Reilly Opelka over Lorenzo Musetti, while Kei Nishikori advanced over Pablo Carreno-Busta by way of walkover which voided yesterday's selection.
Karatsev match against Medvedev delayed from Tuesday
Moving on to today's card, there are 12 matches with several - Federico Delbonis versus David Goffin and Aslan Karatsev versus Daniil Medvedev - delayed from yesterday. The latter, an all-Russian clash, looks fascinating and I covered it in detail in Tuesday's preview.
Nadal could be tested by high-potential Sinner
There are a lot of heavy favourites today which look pretty accurate - a number are around 1.251/4 or shorter, and these include Rafa Nadal who plays the evening match tonight against Jannik Sinner. Nadal is 1.251/4 to get the win but Sinner is one of, if not the toughest round two opponents he could have drawn with the seeding structure and it promises to be a cracking encounter which provides a good opportunity to see where both players are at currently.
Sinner looks like the highest potential young clay-courter on tour right now, while Nadal will be looking to bounce back from his loss to Alexander Zverev in Madrid last week - a second consecutive early exit won't have been in his plans in advance of the French Open.
Sonego should edge all-Italian clash
However, the match I want to focus on from a value perspective is Gianluca Mager versus Lorenzo Sonego, which happens to be two Italian players meeting in their home Masters event today. The wild card, Mager, is the less illustrious of the two 26-year-olds, with a career-best 77 ranking which he's around 10 places worse than currently, while Sonego has been around the top 30 for a while now.
Mager has reasonable clay numbers, probably a bit in excess of what would be expected for a player of his ranking and picked up a Challenger title in Marbella at the start of April and then reached the quarter-finals in Belgrade a few weeks back in a main tour event, losing to Karatsev. The Italian got past Alex De Minaur in his opener here, but that's not a remarkable victory given the Australian's mediocre clay numbers.
Conversely, Sonego is 6-1 on clay this season with a title in Cagliari a month ago, and his only loss came at the hands of the Madrid winner, Alexander Zverev, in Monte Carlo, earlier this month.
On surface ability, Sonego looks generously priced at 1.695/7 for this match.
In other matches, the likes of Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Madrid winner Alexander Zverev start their tournaments and are all heavy favourites to progress, with the latter duo around the 1.101/10 mark to get the better of Marin Cilic and Hugo Dellien, respectively.
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