Thomaz Bellucci and Novak Djokovic meet in the round of the 16 at the 2016 Rome Masters.
Thomaz Bellucci is coming off a straight set victory over Nicolas Mahut and hasn’t dropped a set this tournament. Bellucci is just trying to build some positivity after losing six of his last nine matches. This tournament has already been a success for Bellucci, who was able to upset Gael Monfils in the first round. Bellucci has never reached the quarterfinals of the Rome Masters. Bellucci would love to build on that victory by pulling off a monster upset, but the 28-year-old simply has to be proud for finding some consistent form after heading into this tournament in an ugly slump. Bellucci’s only Master series quarterfinal appearance of his career came in the 2011 Madrid Masters.
Novak Djokovic is coming off a straight sets victory over Stephane Robert that took 24 games to decide. Djokovic has now lost just two singles matches since Dubai and is clearly in peak form as he hopes to win his first French Open title this season. Djokovic’s last match wasn’t his best but as usual, he dug deep and found a way to win without it dragging out into a third set. Djokovic continues to impress and hasn’t shown signs of slowing down any time soon. Djokovic has reached the quarterfinals of the Rome Masters in every appearance of his career. Djokovic has lost before the quarters of the Masters series just three times since 2014.
These two have met five times, and Djokovic has won all contests and three of them in straight sets. The most recent match was in the 2015 Paris Masters, and this will be the fourth time they meet on clay. Bellucci was able to steal a set from Djokovic in the 2015 Rome Masters and 2011 Madrid Masters.
There’s no reason to pick against Djokovic in this match, as history is on his side and these two players are in different galaxies in their current form.
Djokovic wins in straight sets.