Alexei Popyrin vs Roman Safiullin
Time: 2:30 PM IST
Alexei Popyrin has finally broken his streak of not winning back-to-back main draw matches in tour-level events since the Australian Open in January. He achieved this by causing a major upset against Felix Auger Aliassime, who is ranked 10th in the world, during the second round of the Rome Masters. It is worth noting that this is also the first time he has won consecutive matches at the Masters level since Paris in 2021.
As a former Boys’ French Open champion, Popyrin won his first ATP title in Singapore in February 2021 and had a successful season. However, he faced difficulties defending those points in 2022, which led to a significant impact on his ranking, dropping out of the top 100. This situation motivated him to make a strong comeback in 2023, and so far, he has been successful.
In 2022, he only managed to win five matches in main tour-level events, while in less than five months of 2023, he has already accumulated 11 wins in similar events, three of which came against top-10 players, including Felix Auger Aliassime (twice) and Taylor Fritz.
Meanwhile, Roman Safiullin has been in excellent form lately, finding his rhythm and performing at a high level. This makes him a formidable opponent, even for the best players, greatly increasing his chances of success. He recently had a remarkable run at the Madrid Masters, winning four consecutive matches en route to the third round. Impressively, he has replicated this feat in Rome, winning four consecutive matches so far in the tournament.
Thanks to Popyrin’s impressive performance at the Rome Masters, the talented yet inconsistent Russian has reclaimed a spot in the top 100 of the live rankings. He initially entered the top 100 in the middle of the 2022 season after a few impressive showings in the early part of the season, which saw him get wins against the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexei Popyrin on his way to the semifinals in Marseille.
Prediction:Back Popyrin to win