“Tomás Etcheverry gives Novak Djokovic a run for his money in Rome Masters, while Cerúndolo advances to third round”

2023-05-13 03:01:00

Tomás Etcheverry (61st) from La Plata, after beating Frenchman Luca Van Assche (85th) 7-6 (7) and 6-3 in the initial round, could not this Friday with Serbian Novak Djokovic, world number 1 , against whom he fell 7-6 (5) and 6-2 in the second round of the Masters 1000 in Rome. The top favorite for the title will go in the third round against the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov (33), who beat the Swiss Stan Wawrinka (84th) 6-4, 7-6 (3).

In any case, the defeat tasted good for Etcheverry as he pushed Djokovic to the maximum, especially in the first set. The player from La Plata was even 3-0 and 5-3 up in the tiebreak before succumbing to the greatness of the Serb, who this Saturday will be “losing” his number one ranking when the Spanish Carlos Alcaraz comes out to face his compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas not before 8.

The Argentine put the Serb on the ropes in a very even first set with balls to the corners, precise returns and good serves that inevitably led to a tiebreak after both gave up only one of their services.

The second “set” was all for the Serbian, who was even up 5-0. In any case, he did not look satisfied and muttered to the ground on several occasions or even exchanged glances with his coach, the Croatian Goran Ivanisevic.

A colored fact about this meeting: the Portuguese José Mourinho, current coach of Paulo Dybala’s Roma, was present at the stadium.

Cerúndolo yes, Báez no, Pella in we will see

The good Argentine news of the day came from Francisco Cerúndolo, who advanced to the third round after beating the Chinese Yibing Wu 4-6, 6-2 and 6-3 in a match in which he performed from lowest to highest. . Cerúndolo, ranked 31st in the ATP world ranking, prevailed over Wu (57th) after exactly two hours of play on court number 2 of the Roman Foro Italico. His next challenge will be this Saturday against the Frenchman Gregoire Barrere (63rd), who surprised the toned Russian Karen Khachanov (11th) 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

For his part, Sebastián Báez (40th) performed well below his level and paid for it with the defeat in straight sets against the Russian Alekasandr Shevchenko (93rd), after one hour and 45 minutes of play. Báez, champion this year at the ATP 250 in Córdoba, had debuted in Rome with a straight-set win over Peruvian Juan Pablo Varillas (97th) 7-5, 6-3, while the Russian, who will be in third round with Italian top ten Jannik Sinner (9th).

The one who will seek to have better luck will be Guido Pella (484th) from Bahia when this Saturday from 7:20 (scheduled time) he will face off against the Spanish Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (34th). The left-hander comes from having a successful debut against Frenchman Maxime Cressy (41st) 6-3, 6-4.

The contest, which is played in parallel between the ATP and the WTA on clay courts, will distribute prizes for 8,637,966 euros and brings together Djokovic (1st) and the Spanish Carlos Alcaraz (2nd), since they had not met so far in 2023. Among the ladies, the great favorite is the Polish Iga Swiatek (1st), winner in the last two editions, in 2021 and 2022, while her main rival is the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka (2nd).

Etcheverry could not against Djokovic’s right

The wear and tear of the first set was paid for by Etcheverry in the second, where he quickly gave up his serve and despite his attempts to get back into the game, he ended up losing to a relentless Nole 6-2.

Nole defined the first set in the tie break

Tied 6 to 6 in games, the first sleeve is defined in the tie break. The Argentine was 5-3 up, but the Serbian turned it around and took the partial 7-6. The public applauded Etcheverry’s game and Djokovic’s reaction to not give up the sleeve to the ease and pressure of his rival.

Mourinho present at the stadium

The Portuguese José Mourinho, current coach of Roma in Italy, was present at the tennis Masters in the Italian capital to see the clash between the Serbian Novak Djokovic and Tomás Etcheverry from La Plata.

Djokovic: “I don’t know much about him, I saw his posts. He seems like a very nice guy”

Asked about his rival in the debut of the Rome Masters, Novak Djokovic commented: “The truth is that I don’t know much about him, I only saw him play a few times, I also saw his publications decreasing the difference in points between us. I wish him all the best. Better, he seems like a very nice guy who also comes from a country that was very successful in this sport. I wish him all the best except tomorrow (for today) night (in Rome).”

Etcheverry and the distance with number 1

Tomás Etcheverry (61 in the ATP ranking) joked twice about the distance that separates him from the number one in the ranking, the Serbian Novak Djokovic. The first time was in 2016, when he added his first point in a future for Ecuador, in Salinas. He then published a photo of himself with the points that separated him from Nole: 1 against 12,900 points (12,899 he wrote are missing). Now he wrote another poster: Djokovic 8,420 points and he 714 (falan 7706). This afternoon the player from La Plata will have the great opportunity to face the Serb in the central court of the Foro Italico in Rome. You have plenty of desire, will they be enough to give the hit?

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