It’s safe to say there has never been a mid-career surge quite like Aslan Karatsev’s. Ranked No. 292 in the world at the start of 2020, the now 27th ranked Karatsev will enter his second-round matchup against world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev as a -127 favorite according to DraftKings Sportsbook.

Before the start of the clay court season, there were plenty of questions about how Karatsev’s ultra-flat, on-the-rise hitting would translate to the slow, red dirt. But after convincing wins against Lorenzo Musetti, Diego Schwartzman and Novak Djokovic, it appears the surface doesn’t matter when you hit the ball as hard as the 27-year-old does.

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The Pick: Aslan Karatsev vs. Daniil Medvedev, Rome second round

Karatsev will keep playing his aggressive brand of tennis, so the outcome of this match will likely come down to Medvedev’s attitude, which has been uninspiring on clay this season to say the least.

The Pick: Aslan Karatsev vs. Daniil Medvedev, Rome second round

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For whatever reason, Medvedev’s trademark patience and rally tolerance seem to disappear on clay. His normal determination turns into a complete disdain for the surface. It’s hard enough to consistently win matches on the ATP Tour, but it’s even tougher when you are fighting an internal battle as well as a quality opponent.

Perhaps Medvedev will find some extra motivation against his countryman, but unless he made a severe attitude adjustment in the past week, all signs point to a Karatsev victory.

The Pick: Aslan Karatsev

The Pick: Aslan Karatsev vs. Daniil Medvedev, Rome second round

The Pick: Aslan Karatsev vs. Daniil Medvedev, Rome second round