Novak Djokovic vs Albert Ramos-Vinolas ATP Rome Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: Djokovic hopes to maintain dominance over Ramos-Vinolas

Ricky Dimon in ATP 16 May 2018
  • Novak Djokovic is looking to win three straight matches for just the second time this season
  • Djokovic is 5-0 lifetime against Rome third-round opponent Albert Ramos-Vinolas
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Rome at bet365 > live streaming > tennis (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)  
ROME, ITALY - MAY 16: Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a forehand during his match against Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia at the Internazionali BNL dItalia on May 16, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic needs some momentum heading into the French Open, and he can take a big step in that effort by reaching the Rome quarterfinals on Thursday.

Novak Djokovic vs Albert Ramos-Vinolas ATP Internazionali BNL d'Italia tennis is live from Rome on Thursday, 17 May from 7:30pm local time/6:30pm BST 
Watch and bet on tennis live from Rome at bet365 > live streaming > tennis (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify) 

At times, Novak Djokovic has displayed at least some signs of his former self during his 2018 comeback from various physical problems. But those fleeting moments have been few and far between. Although momentum has come, it has gone just as fast. Djokovic will be trying to sustain some momentum when he bids for a third consecutive win at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia on Thursday.

The Serb has won back-to-back-to-back matches only once this season, when he defeated Donald Young, Gael Monfils, and Albert Ramos-Vinolas at the Australian Open. It is once again Ramos-Vinolas who stands in the way of the exact same accomplishment in Rome.

These two veterans will be squaring off for the sixth time in their careers on Thursday, with Djokovic completing dominating the head-to-head series 5-0 overall and 13-0 in total sets. Only once has Ramos-Vinolas even managed to force a tiebreaker. They have faced each other at two of the last four Grand Slams, with Djokovic cruising 7-6(5), 6-1, 6-3 at the 2017 French Open and 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 at this year's Australian Open.

Novak Djokovic after beating Nikoloz Basilashvili in Rome. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images) 
Thus continues what has been a favorable, all-unseeded draw for the world No. 18. He booked his spot in the Rome third round by disposing of both Alexandr Dolgopolov and Nikoloz Basilashvili in easy straight sets. Ramos-Vinolas, on the other hand, needed three tough sets to scrape past Federico Delbonis and John Isner. The Spaniard defeated Delbonis in two hours and 12 minutes before requiring two hours and 52 minutes across three tiebreakers to outlast Isner 6-7(5), 7-6(2), 7-6(5) on Wednesday.


Djokovic and Ramos-Vinolas will be getting Court Centrale billing on Thursday night, which is not always the case for the 12-time slam champion now that he has plunged outside the top 10. He played on the third court--Pietrangeli--against Basilashvili on Wednesday.

“I thought the atmosphere was unique; phenomenal," Djokovic said following his second-round success. "It's one of the most beautiful tennis courts in the world. I have great memories there. And I think it's so nice to play in front of the people that also don't have to buy ticket for [Centrale].... It's very intimate.”

Ultimately, though, Djokovic's sights are on the French Open rather than Rome. But this tournament can propel him forward and set him up nicely for the season's second major.

"The French Open is where I want to play my best tennis," he assured. "That's obviously the big goal for this part of the season. But I feel like my game has been going in the right direction. Obviously I haven't got too many matches and it's not satisfying for me, and I know for the people that follow me. I know I haven't been up to the level desired, but Madrid and [so far in Rome] has been an encouraging story."

Based on his level of play and potential fatigue for Ramos-Vinolas following two highly-contested matches, Djokovic's Rome story is likely to continue.




Novak Djokovic vs Albert Ramos-Vinolas is live from Rome on Thursday, 17 May from 7:30pm local time/6:30pm BST
Watch and bet on the match live at bet365 > live streaming > Novak Djokovic vs Nikoloz Basilashvili  (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)


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Novak Djokovic vs Albert Ramos-Vinolas ATP Rome Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: Djokovic hopes to maintain dominance over Ramos-Vinolas

Novak Djokovic will continue his Rome campaign against Albert Ramos-Vinolas on Thursday. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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