Rio Open Day 1 Predictions Including Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Fabio Fognini

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The second ATP 500 event of the season begins its main draw action today. After a great event in Rotterdam last week, the clay courts of Rio promise to deliver some intriguing matches. Here are my predictions for the top four matches of Day 1.

Rio Open Day 1 Predictions

Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Fabio Fognini

The first match of the night session sees talented NextGen player Felix Auger-Aliassime take on the ever unpredictable Fabio Fognini. This is the first meeting between the pair and it promises to be an exciting encounter. Although having not played too many matches at tour level, the young Canadian is already on the cusp of the top hundred and the tennis world was shown a glimpse of his potential at the US Open last year where he played great tennis to take the second set, before having to retire 1-4 down in the third. The Italian on the other hand has more experience and has recorded some of his best performances on clay, defeating Andy Murray twice on the surface and defeating Thiem in Rome last year. On his day he can beat anyone on tour. I expect the Italian to have two much power for the young Canadian.
Prediction: Fognini in 2

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Dusan Lajovic vs Cameron Norrie

The second match of the day on Quadra 1 sees talented Serbian Dusan Lajovic take on Cameron Norrie. The Brit recorded his best success at tour level on the surface last year, making his first ATP final in Lyon. He also came back from two sets to love and a break down to beat Roberto Bautista Agut on the surface in the Davis Cup. He is improving his game and made a good start to the year, reaching another ATP Final in Auckland. Clay is also the Serbian’s favourite surface and he has slowly been rising up the ATP rankings, currently sitting at 43rd in the world. Their one previous meeting on tour was at the Australian Open with the Serbian taking it in four sets. Expect this match to have plenty of long rallies and I expect a tight three setter, with Lajovic just coming out on top.
Prediction: Lajovic in 3

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Roberto Carballes Baena vs Nicolas Jarry

The first match of the day on the Quadra Guga Kuerten sees the talented Chilean Nicolas Jarry up against clay court specialist Roberto Carballes Baena. The Chilean is making a steady rise up the rankings and is now establishing himself as a top 50 player. He posses a great first serve and his forehand is also very powerful. However, with a losing record on tour this year, the Chilean will be looking for more consistency on his favourite surface. The Spaniard is also very talented on the red dirt. He produced a great effort against Nadal in Barcelona last year and, currently ranked at 115th in the world, he will be looking to get into the top 100. They’ve played each other twice in the past, both times on clay, and the head to head is one win apiece. I predict a tight three setter going the way of the Chilean.
Prediction: Jarry in 3

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Elias Ymer vs Juan Ignacio Londero

The only match of the day on Quadra 2 sees talented youngster Elias Ymer take on current sensation Juan Ignacio Londero. Londero won his first ATP match and ATP World Tour title in the same week at the inaugural Cordoba Open. Ymer has been touted as being one of the up and coming talents on tour and it’ll be interesting to see how Londero handles the pressure of the spotlight being on him. I expect this match to produce long rallies, with the the Argentine pulling through in three tight sets.
Prediction: Londero in 3