All eight second-round matches have been scheduled for Wednesday at the Generali Open in Kitzbuhel. Top seed and local favourite Dominic Thiem will open his bid to win his first title at the event, alongside three of the other top-four seeds in the event all of whom received a first-round bye. This article will predict four of those matches, while Yesh Ginsburg predicts the other four.
ATP Kitzbuhel Day 3 Predictions
Jeremy Chardy vs Dusan Lajovic
Opening the day’s play is France’s Chardy against the second-seeded Serbian. The two have split their four past meetings with the former winning their last encounter – at the 2018 Istanbul Open on clay. This time around, both Chardy and Lajovic are fresh off a quarter-final finish in Hamburg and Gstaad respectively. But aside from recent results, it’s Lajovic who has had slightly better results on the Tour in 2019, including his maiden title run in Umag, a couple of weeks ago.
But will this be enough to take on – and defeat – Chardy on the day? It does seem so.
Prediction: Lajovic in 3
Dennis Novak vs Pablo Cuevas
This will be the first meeting between the two. Novak received a wild card in his home event with his last outing – in Gstaad – resulting in a second-round loss. Cuevas lost in the opening round in Hamburg to Thiem in straight sets. But despite that result, the Uruguayan has fared better than his younger opponent on the Tour this year.
Nonetheless, both players face the unknown in each other making this match-up one of the more interesting ones in the event.
Prediction: Cuevas in 3
Fernando Verdasco vs Jozef Kovalik
The Slovakian, who is using a protected ranking this week in Kitzbuhel got past Spaniard Guillermo Garcia Lopez in the first round. However, in his first-time meeting against another Spaniard, the third-seeded Verdasco, Kovalik will find the road getting tougher.
Against Kovalik, Verdasco will have a chance to overturn the early ousters he had in his last two events, in Bastad and Gstaad. But will the World #32 make good of the opportunity?
Prediction: Verdasco in 2
Dominic Thiem vs Sebastian Ofner
For all his commitment to play in Kitzbuhel year-after-year, Thiem’s best result in his home tournament has been reaching the final in 2014. Will fortunes change for the World #4 this year? For that to happen, he has to successfully get past compatriot, and wild card recipient, Ofner in his opening round.
This will be the first time the two countrymen will go head-to-head against each other and on paper, the higher-ranked Austrian is the favorite to win. But Thiem did suffer an unexpected upset at the hands of Andrey Rublev in the quarter-finals in Hamburg last week, putting him on a shakier ground than what he would have wanted for himself. But will it be enough to put Ofner in with a chance to cause the upset of the top seed?
Prediction: Thiem in 2
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Disagree with our ATP Kitzbuhel predictions? As always, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.