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Novak Djokovic v Juan Martin del Potro ATP Rome predictions, betting tips & live stream: del Potro to pull off Djokovic upset

Bettingpro Staff 19 May 2017
  • Novak Djokovic vs Juan Martin del Potro is live from Rome at 9.00pm local time on Friday (8.00pm BST)
  • Djokovic leads head-to-head 13-4 - but this will be their first match on clay since 2011
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Rome at bet365 > sports > live streaming tennis
Novak Djokovic (Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)

A blockbuster showdown awaits in the Rome Masters quarter-finals on Friday night as four-time champion Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro clash for the 18th time at the Foro Italico.

Watch and bet on Djokovic vs del Potro live from Rome at bet365 > sports > live streaming tennis. Their quarter-final clash begins at 9.00pm local time on Friday (8.00pm BST).

Grab the popcorn as the last quarter-final of the 2017 Rome Masters promises to be an absolute cracker, with World No. 2 Novak Djokovic, still searching for his best form ahead of Roland Garros in just over a week’s time, takes on Juan Martin del Potro, the resurgent Argentine who is slowly starting to generate some significant momentum after a late start to the year. Djokovic has already toppled del Potro twice this season - a pair of gruelling three-set battles in Acapulco and Indian Wells - while del Potro still has fond memories of taking down the Serbian at the Rio Olympics last year. This will be their first encounter on clay since 2011 - who will roll on into the Rome semi-finals, into a possible meeting with Rafael Nadal? Djokovic and del Potro take to court at 9.00pm local time on Friday (8.00pm BST).

It’s been a season of bitter disappointment for Djokovic so far in 2017, losing his Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami titles to Roger Federer and his Madrid Masters crown to Rafael Nadal, while his ‘shock therapy’ split with basically his entire support staff has caused quite the stir, but some of the Serbian’s best moments of the year to date have come against del Potro.

Making his debut appearance at the ATP 500 tournament in Acapulco, Mexico, Djokovic and del Potro featured in a pretty high-quality second round contest, with both players producing some great tennis at times. Del Potro would secure the first set 6-4 before Djokovic sunk his teeth in the match and edged the following two sets by the same scoreline. Djokovic would also emerge a three-set winner in their third round Indian Wells showdown, but unfortunately for the World No. 2, he would be eliminated in the next round of both tournaments by an on-fire Nick Kyrgios, failing to break the Australian’s serve in both matches.

Pulling out of the Miami Masters and suffering disappointing losses to David Goffin and Rafael Nadal at the Monte-Carlo and Madrid Masters respectively, Djokovic was under immense pressure touching down in Rome, where he won the title in 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2015, finished runner-up in 2009, 2012 and 2016 and made the quarter-finals on three other occasions. But Djokovic has been playing some solid tennis at the Foro Italico this week, booking a place in the quarter-finals for the 11th consecutive year with straight sets wins over Aljaz Bedene and Roberto Bautista Agut. Djokovic avenged his Shanghai Masters loss to Bautista Agut with a 6-4 6-4 victory on Thursday, declaring it to be one of his best displays on the clay in 2017.

“I feel like today's match was one of the better ones that I have played this clay-court season, but also in the past couple of months. It came at the right time, of course. All the players are aiming to raise their level of tennis as we're approaching Paris, but especially here in Rome at one of the biggest and best tournaments in the world,” said Djokovic. “I would love to be able to continue playing at this level and even higher as the tournament progresses.”

Juan Martin del Potro (Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)

Juan Martin del Potro is also feeling good in Rome, with the big Argentine playing his first completed tournament of the European clay court season after withdrawing from Estoril and pulling out of the Madrid Masters due to the passing of his grandfather.

Del Potro, who only began his 2017 season in February (missing the entire Australian summer) in an attempt to recover from a gruelling 2016 campaign, produced arguably his best match of the season in his Rome third round contest with seventh seed Kei Nishikori on Thursday, taking down the Japanese star 7-6(4) 6-3 in front of an electric crowd inside the Stadio Pietrangeli. The win was del Potro’s first over a top 10 rival on clay since beating Tomas Berdych at Roland Garros in 2012.

“It was amazing. It was like a soccer match for me. I enjoyed the crowd a lot. My feelings are the best when I get onto the court and the crowd is cheering for me. That's incredible for all the players,” said del Potro. “I have lots of support around the world and that’s special to me after all my wrist problems. I have been making a big effort to come back to tennis and they like to see me play again.”

After enjoying a successful comeback to tennis in 2016 after spending several years on the sidelines due to multiple wrist surgeries - including winning a title in Stockholm, helping Argentina to Davis Cup glory, finishing runner-up at the Rio Olympics, making the US Open quarter-finals and beating the likes of Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka - del Potro is now back to the kind of match fitness where he’ll be expecting to emulate those feats for the remainder of the year.

It’s taken top six players to beat del Potro in his four previous tournaments in 2017, losing to Milos Raonic in Delray Beach, Djokovic twice at Acapulco and Indian Wells and Roger Federer in Miami. Now del Potro gets the chance to avenge his two losses to Djokovic on Friday night in front of what will be another raucous crowd.

I give del Potro a great chance of prevailing here. He’s taken a set of Djokovic in his last five losses to him, indicating he’s not far away at all, while the Serbian is still far from convincing with his own form. With the confidence generated from his Nishikori triumph, and with the crowd likely to be firmly on his side, I think del Potro emerges triumphant and secures a place in the semi-finals.

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Novak Djokovic v Juan Martin del Potro ATP Rome predictions, betting tips & live stream: del Potro to pull off Djokovic upset

A blockbuster showdown awaits in the Rome Masters quarter-finals on Friday night as four-time champion Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro clash for the 18th time at the Foro Italico.

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