Match Preview

Preview: Will Sonego Stop Tsitsipas In Rome?

Alcaraz faces Marozsan, Tiafoe and Musetti clash
May 14, 2023
Stefanos Tsitsipas owns a 2-0 ATP Head2Head series lead over Lorenzo Sonego entering their match in Rome.
Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
Stefanos Tsitsipas owns a 2-0 ATP Head2Head series lead over Lorenzo Sonego entering their match in Rome. By ATP Staff

After a busy Sunday at the Foro Italico, the third round will be completed on Monday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

Fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who reached the final in Rome last year, will try to hold off home hope Lorenzo Sonego. Carlos Alcaraz continues his first Foro Italico appearance against Hungarian qualifier Fabian Marozsan and 12th seed Frances Tiafoe and 18th seed Lorenzo Musetti meet in a clash of Next Gen ATP Finals alumni. previews Monday’s action.

[5] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) vs. Lorenzo Sonego (ITA)

Tsitsipas made a deep run in Rome last year when he advanced to the final. Will Italian Sonego stop the Greek early this year?

The pair have met twice previously, with both meetings coming on hard courts in 2021. Tsitsipas won on both occasions, but needed three sets to triumph at that year’s Western & Southern Open.

Sonego has enjoyed success on home soil before. Two years ago he advanced to the semi-finals in Rome behind back-to-back Top 10 wins, two of the five he has earned in his career (5-17). Earlier this year, Sonego upset then-World No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime in Dubai.

The Italian will try to rely on his heavy groundstrokes to make Tsitsipas work hard on the clay. Due to rain Saturday, Tsitsipas also needed to briefly return to action Sunday to close out his victory over Nuno Borges. Will that play a factor?

[2] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) vs. [Q] Fabian Marozsan (HUN)

It has been a tournament of firsts for Hungarian Fabian Marozsan. The 23-year-old arrived in Rome having never competed in an ATP Tour main draw and with an 0-2 record in tour-level matches (Davis Cup). Marozsan qualified at the Foro Italico and has earned two wins in the main draw, completing an upset of 32nd seed Jiri Lehecka on Sunday.

Will the Hungarian be able to produce his biggest stunner of all against second seed Carlos Alcaraz?

It has been difficult for all the stars of the ATP Tour to compete with the Spaniard this year. Alcaraz has won 12 consecutive matches and back-to-back titles in Barcelona and Madrid.

“I feel great even [though] the conditions were tough... Apart of that, yeah, I felt the love from the people,” Alcaraz said after defeating countryman Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the second round. “It was great to have a lot of people, even [in] really tough conditions, really tough day, waiting the whole day. It was great to play my first match here in Rome.”

[12] Frances Tiafoe (USA) vs. [18] Lorenzo Musetti (ITA)

Tiafoe is one of the biggest fan favourites on the ATP Tour. His infectious smile and entertaining game are well-known throughout the world. But he will face a stiff test from artistic Italian Lorenzo Musetti, who also enjoys rallying the crowd to his side.

The pair have split two previous ATP Head2Head meetings, and Tiafoe’s win was a retirement in the final of this year’s United Cup. Musetti defeated Tiafoe during his breakthrough run in Acapulco two years ago. They also met twice at ATP Challenger Tour events in 2020, splitting those clashes.

Their encounter at the Foro Italico promises to be thrilling. The key will be which player is able to prevent the other from finding rhythm. Both men have proven that when at their best, they can put on a show.

More To Watch…

Earlier this year Andrey Rublev saved five match points against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in Dubai. Rublev trailed 1/6 in their second-set tie-break before rallying for the victory. They will meet again as Davidovich Fokina seeks his first win in their ATP Head2Head series.

Third seed Daniil Medvedev earned his first win in Rome against Emil Ruusuvuori on Sunday and will try for his second against 31st seed Bernabe Zapata Miralles.

Italian Marco Cecchinato will try to use the support of his home fans to defeat German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann, who upset ninth seed Taylor Fritz. Fifteenth seed Borna Coric faces Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena for a place in the fourth round.

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