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Rome Masters Tennis Bet of the Day: Back Del Potro to down Djokovic on Friday

Neil Roarty 19 May 2017
Every day we pick out the best bet from the 2017 Internazionali BNL d'Italia Open for our Rome Masters Bet of the Day. On Thursday we are backing an upset in the match of the day between Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin Del Potro.

Today's Rome Masters Betting Tips

Reasons for Today's Rome Masters Bet

Alexander Zverev was a winner for the second time in two days for our Bet of the Day as he cruised past Fabio Fognini and into the quarter-finals in Rome. Fognini, as expected, couldn't match the levels of performance that he showed against Andy Murray (or more accurately Zverev wasn't as bad as Murray was) and the German won well. He's up against Milos Raonic on Friday in a match that looks the definition of a coin flip with three tie-breaks a real possibility.

That means that there's no value in backing Zverev once again and so we have to look at one of the other quarter-finals for a bet on Friday. Isner v Cilic is another that could go all the way and although Cilic should win, there's no point in backing him in a match of fine margins. Dominic Thiem meets Rafael Nadal for the third time in three weeks and could push the Spaniard closer than the handicap suggests but the Austrian has played so much tennis lately that there's a chance that Nadal could blow him off court in an easy win. Another no bet.

The final match of the day does, however, offer a real opportunity to take advantage of some very generous prices with Novak Djokovic far too short to beat Juan Martin Del Potro. We went against Delpo at the start of the week against Grigor Dimitrov but he came through that match very well, after falling a set behind, and then followed up with a win over Kyle Edmund and then Kei Nishikori. These are very good players that the Argentine is beating, on a surface that suits them more than him, and he now deserves real respect.

Novak Djokovic, by contrast, is a player that has to be taken on when the opportunity arises. The Serb's standards have really slipped over the last 12 months with family matters, coaching issues and a general lethargy after the high of completing the career (and calendar) Grand Slam causing a decline in performances. He hasn't won any of the four majors since last year's French Open and has also under-performed at Masters 1000 level, failing to make even a final since the Canada Masters. Six tournaments without a final may not seem like much but this is the first time since 2010 that the former world number one hasn't claimed a top level title by this point in the season.

The problem for Djokovic is that he is seemingly unable to hit the heights of previous years and so struggles  whenever he's up against a player who is able to raise his game. He lost to Nick Kyrgios in both Acapulco and Indian Wells, David Goffin in Monte Carlo and then Rafael Nadal last weekend in Madrid. He hasn't actually beaten a top ten player since the opening week of the season and he continues to look vulnerable whenever he's pushed.

Del Potro may not be top ten at the moment but he should certainly be considered at that level. The Argentine is battling his way back to his true ranking, and will take some hits along the way, but he's more than capable of putting in a performance of the absolute highest quality. He did it when beating Djokovic at the Olympics and going on to claim a silver medal in Rio and he can do it again on Friday in Rome.

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