ATP Washington Open Day 1 Predictions Including Denis Kudla vs Tommy Paul

Bradley Klahn Washington Open

After a week of tennis in Atlanta, the North American summer hard-court swing is set to get underway in earnest at the Washington Open. Australian Open semifinalist Stefanos Tsitsipas, ranked 7th in the world, who last year reached the last four in D.C., headlines the draw. But he and the other seeds will not be in action until later in the week. Day one at the Washington Open nonetheless offers an intriguing slate of matches. But who will book their place in the second round? And don’t worry, we also have predictions for four other Day 1 matches.

Washington Open Day One Predictions

Denis Kudla vs Tommy Paul

Head-to-head: first meeting

The first match of the day on Stadium court at the Washington Open will be an all-American battle between Denis Kudla and Tommy Paul. Kudla had a middling grass-court season. Though he did reach the quarterfinals at the Stuttgart Open and perform well in a second-round loss to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon, he fell below the high standards he has set on that surface in the past. He then lost in the first round in Atlanta to Alexei Popyrin. And he may be in for another test against Paul.

The 22-year-old may be ranked outside the top 125, but he has played well on American hard courts in the past. In 2017, he forced three match points against then second seed Kei Nishikori in the quarterfinals before falling just short. His career has been badly disrupted by injuries, but he has all the fundamentals to play on hard courts. Kudla, despite an efficient serve, is far less comfortable on the gritty courts at Washington. That should give Paul just enough of an edge.

Prediction: Paul in 3
Embed from Getty Images

Ricardas Berankis vs Lloyd Harris

Head-to-head: first meeting

Lloyd Harris showed some of his best and worst tennis in losing to Roger Federer in the first round at Wimbledon. His serve and forehand are powerful, but can start to misfire badly when the South African loses his rhythm. That may not be a concern against Ricardas Berankis of Latvia. A former-junior #1 Berankis has not quite hit the heights his successful junior career had suggested, but he is a solid pro. He does, however, rely on his movement and consistency to win matches. If Harris is focused, he should be able to hit his opponent off the court.

Prediction: Harris in 3
Embed from Getty Images

Ivo Karlovic vs Bjorn Fratangelo

Head-to-head: Fratangelo 1-0 Karlovic

The big-serving Ivo Karlovic may not have much of his career left, but he can still be dangerous and fully deserves his ranking of world #81. His mobility has declined, as has his touch, but the power and accuracy of his serve remains very difficult to contend with. Wildcard Bjorn Fratangelo, however, has power of his own. The American, a champion at the junior French Open in 2012, has not managed to fulfil the promise he once showed. But he is a capable professional.

He also beat Karlovic in their only previous tour-level encounter, which came in 2017 at the US Open, though Karlovic did beat the American at a Challenger in Monterrey last season. This one could be close then. And that might just suit Fratangelo. He will have the support of the crowd and is facing an opponent in Karlovic who will struggle off the ground. If Fratangelo can land a few telling blows against the Karlovic serve, he should be able to secure a big win.

Prediction: Fratangelo in 3
Embed from Getty Images

Alexander Bublik vs Bradley Klahn

Head-to-head: first meeting

Alexander Bublik ended his grass-court season with an impressive run to the final at the Newport Open (lost to Isner). The Kazakh wasn’t able to back that up in Atlanta where he lost first round to Reilly Opelka, but after the best part of week off court he will surely be refreshed mentally. He will need to be up against the USA’s Bradley Klahn, the 2010 NCAA champion, who like several of his compatriots has been most unlucky with injuries.

He will now likely never achieve what he might once have, but Klahn still owns a good serve and a more than useful forehand. His backhand is something of a weakness, but one he defends well when he is at his best. He will, however, need to be prepared for the unorthodox, first-strike style of Bublik. The Kazakh has a big serve and fine, if slightly inconsistent, touch at the net. That will make him dangerous, but the courts in Washington are not renowned for their speed. Expect the more athletic Klahn to take advantage.

Prediction: Klahn in 3

Main photo:
Embed from Getty Images