Tuesday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia will see Daniil Medvedev and Aslan Karatsev face off in a highly anticipated night match.
On Monday, Karatsev beat Miomir Kecmanovic 7-6(2), 6-4 to improve his season record to 20-6. Medvedev is 18-4 this year, but 1-1 on clay and 0-2 in his previous Rome appearances.
Though it’s their first meeting, Medvedev and Karatsev helped Russia win this year’s ATP Cup. With Medvevdev and Andrey Rublev playing singles, Karatsev was delegated to the doubles court.
“Aslan, I’m not joking, was a secret weapon for doubles,” Medvedev said in February. “He didn’t manage to show it because we didn’t have a 1-1 match, but he was our secret weapon.”
Russia’s secret weapon would reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open as a qualifier with wins over Diego Schwartzman, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Grigor Dimitrov. He followed up his breakthrough run with an ATP 500 title in Dubai and a final showing in Belgrade. Since starting the year outside of the Top 100 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, the 27-year-old has established himself inside the Top 30.
“I think nobody can understand. I’m honest. I think only he can try to explain at least what’s going on,” Medvedev said about Karatsev in Miami. “In Dubai, I watched his matches. He was playing definitely I would say Top 10, Top five level. He beat some amazing guys in amazing ways there. Hopefully, he can keep the momentum going throughout his career. Four Russians almost in the Top 20 is unbelievable.”
Russia’s Karen Khachanov is ranked No. 24, while Karatsev is No. 27. Although he is up to World No. 2 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, Medvedev has yet to find his footing on clay. After testing positive for COVID-19 in Monte-Carlo, he lost in the third round of Madrid to Cristian Garin.
Novak Djokovic will play Taylor Fritz following Madrid finalist Matteo Berrettini’s match with Nikoloz Basilashvili. Djokovic last competed in Belgrade, where he lost against Karatsev in the semi-finals.
“I didn’t have too many matches,” Djokovic said. “I didn’t play so great in Monaco and Belgrade, but I’m hopefully going to change that here in Rome and then another week in Belgrade before the French.”
Also on Tuesday, Grigor Dimitrov will have his hands full against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and eighth seed Schwartzman will play Auger-Aliassime. Italian wild card Lorenzo Musetti will take on Reilly Opelka as he looks to back up his breakthrough third-round run from last year.
[WATCH LIVE 1]
ORDER OF PLAY – TUESDAY, MAY 11, 2021
CENTER COURT start 10:00 am
WTA – [WC] M. Trevisan (ITA) vs [DA SR]
WTA – Y. Shvedova (KAZ)
 M. Berrettini (ITA) vs N. Basilashvili (GEO)
 N. Djokovic (SRB) vs T. Fritz (USA)
Starting At 6.00PM
WTA –  J. Konta (GBR) vs J. Ostapenko (LAT)
GRAND STAND ARENA start 10:00 am
[Q] A. Davidovich Fokina (ESP) vs  G. Dimitrov (BUL)
L. Sonego (ITA) vs  G. Monfils (FRA)
WTA –  G. Muguruza (ESP) vs A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)
WTA – A. Kerber (GER) vs [Q] A. Cornet (FRA)
Not Before 7:00 pm
A. Karatsev (RUS) vs  D. Medvedev (RUS)
PIETRANGELI start 10:00 am
WTA – [LL] S. Stephens (USA) vs M. Keys (USA)
WTA – V. Kudermetova (RUS) vs  E. Mertens (BEL)
K. Nishikori (JPN) vs  P. Carreno Busta (ESP)
 D. Schwartzman (ARG) vs F. Auger-Aliassime (CAN)
[Q] F. Delbonis (ARG) vs  D. Goffin (BEL)
COURT 1 start 10:00 am
 R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs [Q] T. Paul (USA)
 D. Shapovalov (CAN) vs [Q] K. Majchrzak (POL)
[WC] L. Musetti (ITA) vs R. Opelka (USA)
After suitable rest – [WC] L. Sonego (ITA) / A. Vavassori (ITA) vs A. Mannarino (FRA) / B. Paire (FRA)
COURT 3 start 10:00 am
WTA – [LL] L. Siegemund (GER) vs N. Podoroska (ARG)
WTA – [Q] B. Pera (USA) vs [Q] T. Zidansek (SLO)
Alternate vs L. Kubot (POL) / F. Skugor (CRO)
A. de Minaur (AUS) / J. Struff (GER) vs  I. Dodig (CRO) / F. Polasek (SVK)
 J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) vs [WC] F. Fognini (ITA) / L. Musetti (ITA)
COURT 4 start 10:00 am
J. Millman (AUS) vs D. Lajovic (SRB)
[Q] R. Carballes Baena (ESP) vs [Q] C. Norrie (GBR)
[WC] M. Cecchinato (ITA) / S. Travaglia (ITA) vs  W. Koolhof (NED) / J. Rojer (NED)
 K. Krawietz (GER) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs M. Cilic (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)
[Alt] M. Arevalo (ESA) / M. Middelkoop (NED) vs D. Evans (GBR) / N. Skupski (GBR)