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  • Thursday'S Tennis Acca Tips: Rafael Nadal To Win On Return To Rome

Thursday's tennis acca tips: Rafael Nadal to win on return to Rome

Planet Sport presents picks for a handful of selected Rome Masters matches taking place on Thursday 9 May 2024.

Rafael Nadal is back in Rome and ready to stride out onto the Foro Italico for another tilt at Masters glory.

Nadal is in Rome for what might be his last Italian Open but he will have one eye on Roland Garros.

The legendary Spaniard is the big draw for the action on Thursday.

Here we make our picks for a handful of selected Rome Masters matches.


ATP Rome: Emil Ruusuvuori vs Marcos Giron | Pick: Ruusuvuori

ATP Rome: Roberto Carballes Baena vs Christopher O'Connell | Pick: Carballes Baena

ATP Rome: Tomas Machac vs Matteo Arnaldi | Pick: Arnaldi

ATP Rome: Thiago Seyboth Wild vs Gregoire Barrere | Pick: Seyboth Wild

ATP Rome: Alexandre Muller vs Marton Fucsovics | Pick: Fuscovics

ATP Rome: Alexei Popyrin vs Hamad Medjedovic | Pick: Popyrin

ATP Rome: Nicolas Moreno De Alboran vs Botic Van De Zandschulp | Pick: Van de Zandschulp 

ATP Rome: Zizou Bergs vs Rafael Nadal | Pick: Nadal


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ATP Rome: Emil Ruusuvuori vs Marcos Giron

Emil Ruusuvuori and Marcos Giron will contest their third head-to-head singles clash in Rome's first round.

Giron has won both the previous clashes and holds a slight edge when it comes to the rankings.

However, this will be the first match between these two players contested on clay.

Neither player has a great career record on the surface and that could act as an equaliser.


ATP Rome: Roberto Carballes Baena vs Christopher O'Connell

Roberto Carballes Baena will face Christopher O'Connell with the former holding all the cards.

The players haven't met in singles action on the ATP Tour but Carballes Baena is far more comfortable on clay.

O'Connell has lost three ATP Tour main draw matches in a row on clay with his only victories on the surface this season coming in qualifying.

Carballes Baena was a finalist in Marrakech at the beginning of April and has eight match wins on clay this season. 


ATP Rome: Tomas Machac vs Matteo Arnaldi

Czech Tomas Machac owns a 2-0 career head-to-head lead over Matteo Arnaldi but the home hope will take some beating in Rome.

Arnaldi is enjoying a good season so far but there is little to pick between these two heading into the clash.

Machac has a marginally better record this season but is ranked eight places lower than his Italian rival.

Arnaldi playing at home might be the difference in this encounter with Machac possibly still carrying an injury.


ATP Rome: Thiago Seyboth Wild vs Gregoire Barrere

Thiago Seyboth Wild is preparing to face French journeyman Gregoire Barrere in a match the Brazilian should fancy winning.

Seyboth Wild has the better career record on clay and won an incredible 56 matches on the surface last season.

Barrere has the edge in overall experience but has actually played fewer matches on clay than his opponent.

This will be the first head-to-head clash between these players at any level.


ATP Rome: Alexandre Muller vs Marton Fucsovics

Experienced Frenchman Alexandre Muller will have his hands full with in-form Marton Fucsovics.

Fucsovics comes into this tournament with a 9-1 record on clay this season and with the Bucharest title in the bank.

The Hungarian had to pull out of the Cagliari Challenger last week with injury but has been passed fit to play in Rome.

Muller came through qualifying to reach the main draw in Rome but this could be the end of the road for him as he faces Fucsovics for the first time.


ATP Rome: Alexei Popyrin vs Hamad Medjedovic

Alexei Popyrin showed how dangerous he can be when he beat Andrey Rublev in Monte Carlo.

Hamad Medjedovic is generally a good player on clay, but his record isn't that much better than Popyrin's.

The Australian has also enjoyed the surface in the past, as it suits his busy game.

Medjedovic had to qualify to earn a place in the Rome Masters main draw which means he has played at the Foro Italico twice already, but the Australian should still have the quality to be victorious.


ATP Rome: Nicolas Moreno De Alboran vs Botic Van De Zandschulp

This clash between players outside of the top 100 is one that will earn the victor a date with Madrid Masters runner-up Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Both Nicolas Moreno De Alboran and Botic Van De Zandschulp had to come through qualifying, which means neither player will have any sort of acclimatisation edge.

Van De Zandschulp is ranked slightly higher than his opponent and has a career-high ranking, that is 99 places better than his opponents.

De Alboran has enjoyed his best results this season on the Challenger tour and might struggle to match the Dutchman's level.


ATP Rome: Zizou Bergs vs Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal threatened to find form in Madrid with three wins before his tournament was ended by a hungry Jiri Lehecka.

Zizou Bergs might take some lessons from Lehecka's win, and apply them to this match, but will find that is easier said than done.

Bergs has never played Nadal before, which is something the Spaniard could use to his advantage as he will have some intimidation factor to work with.

Bergs has been good on clay this season, but against an all-time great, he could struggle.

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