A day to forget for Jannik Sinner and Andrey Rublev as they both failed to live up their rankings in the fourth round of the ATP Masters 1000 of Rome. Only a day after the upset of Carlos Alcaraz, two more big names were pushed out of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia 2023.
The heavy conditions of the courts that this year’s gloomy weather is causing did not play to the favour of Italy’s number 1, who had already struggled in the previous round under similar conditions. Francisco Cerundolo, on the opposite, shined and played a majestic match, especially with the forehand, to give no chance to Sinner after the first set.
Despite not playing his best, the Italian had taken the first set at the end of gruelling fight, but instead of giving him confidence, it felt like it only drained his energy. While the Argentine kept imposing his rhythm and hitting winners, Sinner started looking more and more tired, losing focus and precision.
“It was a weird match today, there were moments I felt the ball and then for 5-6 points I could not feel it at all and I kept missing,” commented Sinner who fired 50 unforced errors in the 2.30 hours match: “It was one of those days when nothing happens, but I don’t want to take anything away from Francisco. He played a great match and dictated with his forehand“.
Cerundolo never hesitated and wrapped it (3)6-7 6-2 6-2.
The other major upset of the day happened only minutes afterwards as German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann took down 6th seed and Montecarlo champion Andrey Rublev in three sets. Rublev struggled with the conditions and complained throughout the match -even receing a warning because of this- while his inspired opponent received the support of the loud Roman crowd.
7-6(5) 4-6 6-3 the final score that kept the cinderella run of Hanfmann alive, as he is on a 6-match winning streak here in Rome having started from the qualies more than a week ago. En-route to this quarterfinal, the German has collected a number of prestigious scalps including the one of Taylor Fritz.