Novak Djokovic will look to continue his recent resurgence when he takes on Marco Cecchinato in the Roland Garros quarterfinals.
This has been a career year so far for Cecchinato, who has been excellent on clay all season and climbed almost 40 spots in the ATP rankings since the start of 2018. He`ll climb at least 30 more after Roland Garros, having a projected ranking of 42 next week, having started the year outside Top 100. Results on clay in 2018 for the Italian include two challenger semifinals, a challenger title and an ATP title (his first) in Budapest. This week in Paris he defeated Copil 3-2, Trungelliti 3-0, Carreno-Busta 3-1 and Goffin 3-1.
Djokovic seems to have finally gotten his mojo back in the last month after almost 2 years of struggle. The Serbian star had an excellent tournament in Rome, his last event before Roland Garros, where he reached the semifinals and looked like the best version of himself for a set against Rafa Nadal. He lost a competitive semifinal against his rival (6-7 3-6), but the week he had in Rome gave him confidence, and Nole continued to play top tennis here in Roland Garros. Djokovic lost a single set in the first 4 rounds, a tiebreak against Bautista Agut. His other three wins came in straight sets against Dutra Silva, Munar Clara and Verdasco.Bet on Cecchinato vs Djokovic and get your 100% (100 Eur) bonus at Ohmbet now!
This will be the first H2H meeting between the two players. Cecchinato is a natural clay courter with a classic clay court game, while Djokovic we all know is an exceptional all around player and a former Roland Garros champion.
Djokovic is playing well right now and an interesting fact is that he actually raised his level of play as the tournament progressed, which is something champions do, and an indication he is truly ready for good things in Paris. Nole was excellent in his last match against Verdasco (6-3 6-4 6-2), and if he brings that kind of form in the quarterfinals he should have a rather easy matchup with Cecchinato.
The Italian is obviously in very good form, but this is another level we are talking about. He might be playing great for his standards, but in order to challenge Djokovic in a Grand Slam quarterfinal he might need a level he doesn`t yet possess.
Cecchinato’s 7-5 4-6 6-0 6-3 Round 16 win against Goffin might look great on paper, but in fact the Italian didn’t really play that well. Goffin was dead tired for the entire match and had a minor injury as well. He was far from his best, playing with no energy and making 51 unforced errors, and in all honesty any decent player would have beaten him on that day.
Cecchinato should have really won that match in straight against a struggling Goffin, but he was average, he didn’t seem to have great rhythm or consistency, and made 37 unforced errors himself – not necessarily a very high number (Djokovic made 29 in three sets against Verdasco), but surely not a low one either for a player whose best weapon (and maybe his only one at this level) is supposed to be the consistency from the baseline.
The Italian simply hasn`t been impressive enough in Paris in terms of level of play (he almost lost his first round match vs Copil, 8-6 in the decider) to expect him to pose a real threat to Djokovic. His game right now is sharp enough to win challengers or even low level ATP events, but he would need to find an extra gear to have any chance at this stage of a Grand Slam, against this kind of opposition.
The experience could also play a part here, as Cecchinato has never never played on such a stage, in fact he never even won a Grand Slam match before this Roland Garros. If there are tight moments, like a tiebreak, the veteran Djokovic should be able to come out on top.
My tip is Djokovic to win in straight sets with medium-high stakes of 7 units, I don’t think Cecchinato is playing well enough to go toe to toe with Nole for an entire set. Prediction: Marco Cecchinato – Novak Djokovic 4-6 4-6 2-6.