US star Brandon Nakashima will play France’s Gregoire Barrere in the opening round of the Italian

Brandon Nakashima is back in action on the ATP tour after a month-long break. He had pulled out of the Barcelona and Madrid Open due to a knee injury. He had previously missed the ATP Houston Open and the Monte Carlo Masters as well and was out of action during the whole month of April.

Brandon Nakashima
Brandon Nakashima (ATP Tour – Twitter)

Nakashima had a pretty disappointing start to the season and the injury only made things worse. He made a comeback last week at a Challenger tournament in France but it didn’t turn out to be a happy one. Despite being the No.2 seed Nakashima suffered a first-round exit after losing to local favourite Harold Mayot in straight sets. The 21-year-old is desperate to turn things around in Italy and it remains to be seen how far he can progress.

Gregoire Barrere’s form coming into the match at Italian Open

Barrere is coming into this match following a shock first round exit from a Challenger tournament in France. Despite playing on home turf and being seeded No.7, he couldn’t quite live up to expectations in his previous event.

Gregoire Barrere
Gregoire Barrere

The Frenchman hasn’t been consistent enough on the ATP tour so far and has suffered early exits from most of the tournaments he has played this year. Barrere is currently ranked World No.56 in men’s singles and he will certainly face an uphill battle against Nakashima in this encounter.

Details:

Date – Wednesday, 10th May

Court Type – Clay outdoor surface

Telecast – Tennis Channel

Start Time – To be Announced

Location – Foro Italico

Match details – Round of 128 match

Head-to-head and Predictions

Nakashima and Barrere have never played each other before on the ATP tour. This is the first professional head to head clash between the two players. On paper, Nakashima is the clear favourite both in terms of rankings and experience. However, one can certainly not rule out Barrere and the Frenchman is expected to put up a tough fight. We are expecting a close encounter with the higher-ranked Nakashima eventually getting the better of Barrere in three sets.

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