It’s another week where Novak Djokovic continues to look for form, having continued to look disappointing since his comeback began. Djokovic, who plays Albert Ramos-Vinolas for a spot in the quarter finals, has thrived in the past in Rome and is currently on a streak of four straight finals in Rome.
Ramos-Vinolas has spent just under 5 hours on court in two matches this tournament, winning in three set comebacks against Federico Delbonis and John Isner so far. The latter was in three tiebreaks, as the Spaniard managed to avoid losing from a break up in the decider. It will be the sixth time that he and Djokovic face off, with all 5 wins going to the Serbian. The most recent win came in Melbourne this year with a straight sets win for Djokovic in the third round.
With Isner having the potential to beat Djokovic, he will probably be relieved that the American faltered in the round prior to a potential meeting. Djokovic has won both his matches in Rome in straight sets so far, beating Alexandr Dolgopolov and Nikoloz Basilashvili so far. Despite his struggles, Djokovic is not despondent about his chances for the rest of the season or what needs to be done. “The French Open is where I want to play my best tennis,” he said. “That’s obviously the big goal for this part of the season. But I feel like my game has been going in the right direction. Obviously I haven’t got too many matches and it’s not satisfying for me, and I know for the people that follow me. I know I haven’t been up to the level desired, but Madrid and the first match here has been an encouraging story.”
A win against Ramos-Vinolas would signal the first time he has won three matches in a tournament since the Australian Open. The winner plays Philipp Kohlschreiber or Kei Nishikori in the quarter finals, with the latter having already been beaten by Djokovic in Madrid this year.
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in straight sets