The last significant tournament before the upcoming French Open sees the best in tennis in action in Rome, where the 2022 Italian Open is taking place.
Djokovic Favored to Claim Men’s Singles Title in Rome
Last week, Madrid was the place to be, for the 1000-level Madrid Open. On the men’s side, Rafael Nadal made his return to action, but the current “King of Clay” and everyone else in the men’s singles field were upstaged by the potential heir to the throne, Carlos Alcaraz.
Alcaraz celebrated his 19th birthday on May 5, defeated Nadal in the quarters the next day, and two days later, captured his second Masters 1000 title of the season by trouncing Alexander Zverev.
With the big picture in mind, Alcaraz, who moved up to #6 in the ATP singles rankings after his title in Madrid, decided to skip this week’s tournament in Rome. But most of the other top names in men’s singles were present, other than Daniil Medvedev and Matteo Berrettini.
Ten-time Italian Open champion Nadal, who was the third seed this week, was upset in the round of 16 by Denis Shapovalov, with a foot injury that hampered him during the match now casting a major cloud over his outlook for the French Open.
But even with Alcaraz absent and Nadal sent packing early, an exciting conclusion is ahead, with the men’s singles semifinals comprised of four of the draw’s top five seeds.
That includes world number one Novak Djokovic, who looks to be rounding into form right on time to make a run at a Roland Garros repeat, which would put him level with Nadal with 21 Grand Slam men’s singles titles.
Djokovic, who lost an epic semifinal thriller to Alcaraz in Madrid, has won all three of his matches in Rome in straight sets. In the semis, he will face #5 seed Casper Ruud. Ruud’s results in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Munich, and Madrid were disappointing, but he is showing his prodigious potential in Rome.
If you are in the U.S. and want to watch how your Italian Open bets unfold, you can find it on Tennis Channel.
2022 Italian Open Men’s Singles Tournament Title Odds
Odds are via BetRivers.
- Novak Djokovic -143
- Stefanos Tsitsipas +300
- Alexander Zverev +375
- Casper Ruud +400
2022 Italian Open Men’s Singles Draw, Schedule & Match Odds – Semifinals (Saturday, May 14)
2022 Italian Open Men’s Singles Semifinal #1: #4 Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. #2 Alexander Zverev, 8:30 a.m. ET (2:30 p.m. Rome time)
Tsitsipas vs. Zverev Odds
Odds are via FanDuel.
Odds to Win
- Stefanos Tsitsipas -148
- Alexander Zverev +126
Total Match Games Over/Under
- Over 23.5 (-110)
- Under 23.5 (-140)
- Stefanos Tsitsipas -1.5 (-125)
- Alexander Zverev +1.5 (-106)
Italian Open Men’s Singles Semifinal #2: #1 Novak Djokovic vs. #5 Casper Ruud, 1:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. Rome time)
Djokovic vs. Ruud Odds
Odds are via BetRivers.
Odds to Win
- Novak Djokovic -500
- Casper Ruud +375
Total Games Over/Under
- Over 21.5 Games (-115)
- Under 21.5 Games (-110)
- Novak Djokovic -4.5 (-104)
- Casper Ruud +4.5 (-122)
2022 Italian Open Men’s Singles Semifinals Predictions & Tips
#4 Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. #2 Alexander Zverev
These two met in the semis at the Monte Carlo Masters and last week in Madrid, and they meet again in the semis in the third Masters 1000 event on the spring clay swing.
Tsitsipas dispatched Zverev with ease in the first meeting, while Zverev evened the score in a three-set win in Madrid. Both players have already exceeded their result in last year’s tournament, where they were each eliminated in the quarters, so anything that happens from here is a bonus when it comes to the ATP rankings.
Tsitsipas has had the tougher road to the Italian Open semis, including yesterday’s win over crowd favorite Jannik Sinner in the quarters. So, another meeting with Zverev won’t faze him, especially since he has a 7-4 edge in head-to-head matchups, including a 3-1 edge on clay.
Tsitsipas vs. Zverev Prediction: Tsitsipas to win in three sets
Tsitsipas vs. Zverev Betting Tip: Tsitsipas ML (-146 at FanDuel)
#1 Novak Djokovic vs. #5 Casper Ruud
While Tsitsipas and Zverev are very familiar with one another at this point, the same can’t be said for Djokovic and Ruud. They have met only twice, with Djokovic winning both meetings.
One of those meetings was at this stage in the 2020 Italian Open, which was moved from its usual May date to September due to the pandemic. In that match, Ruud gave Djokovic a real run for his money, and he even had two set points on his serve in the first set. But he didn’t make the most of his opportunities and Djokovic eventually claimed a 7-5, 6-3 win.
Since then, Ruud has only further entrenched himself as one of the best young prospects on this surface, claiming five ATP 250 clay titles across 2021 and 2022. But until the Italian Open, that potential had not been on display enough during the spring clay swing, but the switch seems to have flipped again in Rome.
Ditto for Djokovic, who seems to have finally shaken off the rust of his lack of competitive tennis for the first few months of 2022. That said, I do fancy Ruud to make this a real contest, at minimum.
Djokovic vs. Ruud Prediction: Djokovic to win in three sets
Djokovic vs. Ruud Betting Tip: Ruud +1.5 sets (+132 at BetRivers)
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