The opening day of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia will feature an entertaining encounter between two competitors who are far from their top form currently in Polish No. 1 Jerzy Janowicz and Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber. This marks the second time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour and the first time since 2012. Janowicz leads the head-to-head series 1-0.
Polish youngster Jerzy Janowicz has had a poor start to his 2014 season, after breaking into the public eye last year with his impressive Wimbledon performance. He has been unable to string together more than two consecutive wins on the tour, with his best performance being a semi-final appearance at the ATP 250 event in Montpellier. He is currently riding an eight-match losing streak dating back to his second round victory over Tommy Haas in Rotterdam. He is 0-2 so far this season on clay, and 8-11 overall. His most recent loss came against Latvian No. 1 Ernest Gulbis in the opening round of the Mutua Madrid Masters event.
Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber is also riding a losing streak, as he exited the third round in Barcelona and has not won a match since. This includes first round losses to both Denis Istomin and Marinko Matosevic. He is 13-11 so far this season, and lost his most recent clay court encounter 6-2, 6-2, which is evidence to his current lack of form.
This marks the second time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Janowicz leading the head-to-head series 1-0. This is the first time they meet since 2012, and will also be their first clay court encounter. Both players are going through a rough patch and it is hard to gauge who will snap the streak first, but based off their recent performances on clay, Kohlschreiber holds the slight edge.
Prediction: Philipp Kohlschreiber in Three Sets