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Ben Shelton vs Zhizheng Zhang – Breakdown and Prediction

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA

Ben Shelton vs Zhizheng Zhang: ATP Rome – Third round

The best Chinese player Zhizheng Zhang will take on Ben Shelton in the third round of the ATP Rome.


Ben Shelton Profile

Ben Shelton has the highest ranking of his career, being ranked No. 14 in the world. The American is 17-8 for the season and 6-1 on clay.

He is coming off a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Pavel Kotov in the second round of the tournament.

Last week, Shelton reached the third round in Madrid, losing to Alexander Bublik.

Earlier this season, Shelton won the title in Houston, defeating Frances Tiafoe in the final. He also reached the semifinals in Dallas and Auckland.

This is his second appearance in Rome after reaching the second round last year.


Zhizheng Zhang Profile

Zhizheng Zhang is 56th in the rankings, ten spots lower than his career high. The Chinese are 12–13 for the season and 3–3 on clay courts.

Zhang is coming off a 6-1, 6-3 win over Adrian Mannarino in the second and a 6-2, 7-5 win against Daniel Elahi Galan in the opening round.

In Madrid and Barcelona, Zhang lost in the opening rounds to Miomir Kecmanovic and Lucca Van Assche.

Zhang’s best result of the season was the quarterfinal in Marseille, which is the only tournament where he won more than two matches.

This was the first time for Zhang to play in the main draw in Rome after he lost in the qualifiers last year.


Head-to-Head Shelton leads 1-0

  • Shelton vs Zhang 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (2023 Australian Open, first round)


Prediction and Conclusion

Both players are having a solid week in Rome, and whoever wins this match may have the best career result in the Masters Series tournament. They played a great match last year at the Australian Open, which went to a fifth-set tiebreak. Neither of the two prefers playing on clay, but Shelton has a much better record. Zhang was very dominant in the previous two rounds and still has not lost a set. Still, he is not on the level of Shelton, who will win this match and get closer to the top 10 players in the world.

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