Yesterday saw a full day of play meaning the bad weather has not caught up with the tournament orgainsers so far. Today there is a small Thunderstorm predicted but the rest of the day might be ok for play. Yesterday’s evening match saw home boy Matteo Arnaldi beat Diego Schwartzman 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 to the delight of the home crowd and to the despair of Argentinian fans as the talented Argentinian is noticeably falling down in form and rankings. J.J Wolf had a very good yet rare win on the red clay as he beat a tricky Grenier 7-5, 7-5. Good wins also for the Germans Yannick Hanfmann and Daniel Altmaier who both had tough opposition in Jarry and Zeppieri respectively. Rather surprising was Dusan Lajovic’s loss to Nuno Borges considering the good form he has been displaying during this clay court season. David Goffin and Emil Ruusuvuori both needed 3 sets to progress into the next round eliminating Nardi and Humbert respectively.
Jannik Sinner v Thanasi Kokkinakis: The young Italian goes in as heavy favourite in this one but it is worth noting that Sinner did not play in Madrid due to a small injury and also on his day Kokkinakis can be a handful for anyone. Also the Australian has had to qualify for this event meaning that he has some matches under his belt and now has had his clay running in. Prediction: Over 20.5 Games
Felix Auger-Aliassime v Alexei Popyrin: This match seems to be a carbon copy to the match above. The Canadian as well has had some injury issues and Popyrin has some good matches under his belt having had to qualify as well. His form on clay has been good so far and from their 2 previous encounters Popyrin has won the last one early in the year which will help with confidence. Prediction: Popyrin to win a set
Stan Wawrinka v Grigor Dimitrov: Another mouth watering match so early in the tournament with both men quite far from their best form. The bookies have Dimitrov as slight favourite and they are right to pair these 2 so closely. In may view they have the odds slightly wrong as I would favour Wawrinka for the simple fact that he has shown some glimpses of returning to form and Wawrinka simply loves clay, he also has a slight edge on the head to head despite these guys not having met for a couple of years. Prediction: Wawrinka to Win.
Aleksander Bublik v Ben Shelton: This is another close match accoridng to the bookies with Shelton being the slight favourite. The reason being that the American is on upward trajectory not only in the rankings but also in his Clay Court knowhow as he has been improving week by week. Bublik on the other has always had the talent but has struggled with mental toughness, something that so far this clay court season he has seemed to improve. I believe that Bublik will continue to show his improvement in toughness today. Prediction: Bublik to Win
Miomir Kecmanovic v Fabio Fognini: Kecmanovic has made great strides in the last months which is the opposite of what Fognini has displayed recently with him being in the latter stages of his career and this why the Serb is 1.40 favourite today. My opinion is that Fognini will play a good match today as he is playing at home and also the win over Andy Murray will give him a boost. It might not be enough to win the match but I think he can at least snatch a set. Prediction: Fognini to win a set
Other matches: Today we will also get to see Novak Djokovic and get to see how his injury and form will be looking, he will have a very solid player in Etcheverry and will play the evening match under heavier conditions. Holger Rune will also be playing and his opponent is a very talented youngster (Arthur Fils) so he will need to pay attention, also on court will be Casper Ruud who has been up and dpwn with form.
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