After two eventful days in Rome, the third day was a full slate of tennis featuring some of the top players in the world. Let’s do a quick rundown of some of the biggest matches that happened on day three.
Diego Schwartzman-Miomir Kecmanovic
In these bigger events that aren’t quite as big as the four majors, commonly referred to as 1000s, sometimes the tennis world gets treated to an incredible 1st round match. It’s great for tennis fandom but not always so fun for the participating players, especially the losing player.
In this first-round encounter, two top-30 players in the world would meet and one would be going home. It looked like it was going to be all Schwartzman in the early going after he took the 1st set, 6-2. Kecmanovic, who has been playing such good tennis all year, looked flat and it was easy to wonder if he had hit a rough patch after so much good tennis. Those thoughts were quickly forgotten after Kecmanovic took the 2nd set, 6-3.
Kecmanovic would keep the momentum rolling, running out to a 3-0 lead in the 3rd set. It wouldn’t be that easy for the Serbian to close out the tough Argentine. Kecmanovic would give the break back and squander match points. Schwartzman would fight back and force the deciding set to a tie-break. Schwartzman, with the momentum back on his side, would run away with the tie-break and the match. Another great win for the Argentine.
Hurbert Hurkacz-David Goffin
After a title in Marrakech and almost knocking out Rafael Nadal in Madrid, David Goffin has come to Rome with sky-high confidence. The former top-ten player had a tricky match against one of the most consistent players on tour, Hubert Hurkacz.
The 1st set saw no breaks of serve between the two men. In the tie-break, both men would have set points, Hurkacz with 3, but it was Goffin who would convert when he needed to, taking the 1st set, 7-6(10-8). The 2nd set would stay steady until Goffin broke Hurkacz to make it 5-3. Goffin faltered when serving for the match at 5-3 but would eventually close out Hukracz in another tie-break. Another great win for Goffin.
Novak Djokovic-Aslan Karastev
Novak Djokovic continues to play himself back into top shape. A semi-final run in Madrid saw Djokovic fall to Carols Alcaraz. This week, Novak is looking for a deep run so he can retain the #1 ranking going into Roland Garros.
Aslan Karastev, one of the best stories of 2021, has really been struggling the last few months. After securing a title before the Australian Open, the Russian has not been the same player. Karstev just had one win on clay coming into this match.
Djokovic looked comfortable, while Karastev continued to look like a guy that is desperately searching for some decent tennis. After a somewhat contested 1st set, won by Djokovic 6-3, the match quickly got out of hand. Djokovic jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the 2nd set and closed out Karastev, 6-2.
Canadians In Rome
Canadian tennis was on full display this afternoon with Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime both in action today. Shapovalov took on Nikoloz Basilashvili and Felix had Alejandro Davidovich-Fokina. Two very tricky tests for the young Canadians.
Denis Shapovalov had a very interesting match against their hometown favorite, Lorenzo Sonego. Shapovalov was questioning some call in the 2nd set. The crowd got pretty raucous and Shapo preceded to tell the crowd to “shut the **** up”. Shapo used that fire and took the match from Sonego.
Today, Shapo was far more efficient and sharper. Shapo just needed two sets to close out Basilashvili, a very solid win for Shapo.
For Felix, his opponent would prove to be very tricky. Davidovich-Fokina has had much more success on the red clay since the season started. After taking the 1st set, Felix looked like he was in real trouble. After saving multiple break points in the 2nd, Felix was able to take the 2nd set in a tie-break. After snatching the momentum, Felix didn’t look back. He would take the 3rd set relatively easily.
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