Lorenzo Sonego will aim to continue his dream run in Rome, but playing an in form Rublev after a marathon against Thiem will be no easy task.
Sonego struggled in the first round against Monfils, edging a very tight three setter, before claiming a straight sets win against Mager in the second round. There wasn’t much to suggest he will be able to challenge Dominic Thiem yesterday, but the Italian played a brilliant match to come out on top in a three and a half hour slugfest. It was quite impressive.
Rublev has been mostly very good this year on clay. He started off with a fantastic run in Monte Carlo (losing in the final to Tsitsipas), before exiting in the Barcelona QF’s (lost to Sinner) and Madrid R16 (lost to Isner). Maybe one would expect Rublev to have done more in those matches, but he faced strong, in form opposition. This week he got past Struff in three sets and Bautista Agut in two.
Rublev leads the H2H 2-0 and has not lost a set to Sonego. He leads 1-0 on clay.
Listen, if Sonego plays like he did against Thiem, he has a fighting chance here. But the problem is his fitness. That was an absolutely grueling match against Thiem, 3:30 hours of intense tennis, both emotionally and physically. With a short turnaround of less than 24 hours, how could Sonego be ready to take on another slugger?
Rublev played very well against Bautista Agut and will definitely look to push Sonego, taking advantage of his tired legs. Let’s remember that Sonego actually had cramps and muscle problems in the first round against Monfils.
I don’t see Sonego putting a real challenge in front of Rublev. He looked exhausted last night and his time for recovery is very short. I’ve seen this story before, and I think Rublev will win in straight sets, unless he blows the beginning of the match and gives Sonego an early lead (which is not something you would expect to happen). Prediction: Lorenzo Sonego – Andrey Rublev 4-6 2-6.