Dolgopolov vs. Djokovic
|Date & Time||Monday May 14, 2018, 11:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Novak Djokovic and Alexandr Dolgopolov meet in the first round of the 2018 tennis Rome Masters.
Novak Djokovic continues to be hit or miss this season as he tries to get his feet wet, as he’s 6-6 on the season and is coming off a second round loss to Kyle Edmund in the Madrid Masters. In the three set loss, Djokovic was broken four times and won just 37 percent of his return points. Djokovic has never been his best on clay court, but these results are just about him showing some sort of consistency. Djokovic hasn’t looked like himself in quite some time and it only gives his opponents more confidence that they can beat the once best player in the world. Once the silly unforced errors end and the shotmaking ability returns, everything else should start falling in place for soon-to-be-31-year-old. Djokovic has split his last eight matches on clay court.
Alexandr Dolgopolov is another player who has struggled out of the gate, as he’s played just one match since the Australian Open and is 5-4 on the season. In Dolgopolov’s most recent match against Andrea Arnaboldi in Casablanca, he won just 61 percent of his first serve points and gave his opponent 10 break chances. Dolgopolov has apparently struggled with a wrist injury all season long, and I’m sure this slow clay surface doesn’t help that issue. Dolgopolov is usually at his best on clay, as its where he’s made five of his nine career final appearances, but it’s hard to trust him based on the way this year has played out up to this point. Dolgopolov has also lost in the first round of the Rome Masters in five of his seven trips in this tournament. Dolgopolov has lost four straight matches on clay court.
These two have played five times and Djokovic has won all five meetings. The most recent match was in the 2015 Cincinnati Masters, a match Djokovic won in three sets. Djokovic is 2-0 against Dolgopolov on clay court. Three of the five matches between these two have gone the distance.
Good luck being on the right side here, as both of these guys have played very little, aren’t consistent and clearly dealing with injury issues. If forced to pick, I give the edge to Djokovic. He’s had some recent success and has played much more tennis this season. He also owns the head to head with five victories to zero losses.
Djokovic should win this match.