ATP Japan Open Day 3 Predictions Including Novak Djokovic vs Go Soeda

Novak Djokovic Japan Open
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World #1 Novak Djokovic’s preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics got off to the perfect start at the Japan Open as he advanced easily to the second round. He, and the other 15 men left in the draw, will all surely be desperate to book their place in the quarterfinals. But who will come out on top on day three in Tokyo?

Japan Open Day Three Predictions

Yoshihito Nishioka vs Lucas Pouille

Head-to-head: Pouille 1-0 Nishioka

After a superb start to the year at the Australian Open, Lucas Pouille has struggled for the majority of the 2019 season. Whilst the 25-year-old was impressive in beating Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in the first round, he has not managed to secure back-to-back victories often this year. Yoshihito Nishioka, meanwhile, enjoyed a decent summer in North America, reaching the quarterfinals at the Cincinnati Masters as a qualifier and the third round at the Washington Open, before losing to eventual champion Nick Kyrgios. It will be difficult for Pouille against a pro-Nishioka crowd. Expect a close battle, but the young Japanese should just have the edge in this one.

Prediction: Nishioka in 2
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Reilly Opelka vs Gilles Simon

Head-to-head: first meeting

Although Gilles Simon has never faced Reilly Opelka before, he has played his compatriot John Isner on three occasions and is yet to have beaten the American. That gives a pretty good indication of how Simon will perform against Opelka, with the two giants possessing very similar strengths and weaknesses. It should be a fascinating match to watch, featuring two contrasting styles of play. Simon is a classic counter-puncher, whose success is built on his ability to get the ball back in play, whilst Opelka will look to finish the points quickly. He was able to do just that against Taylor Fritz in the first round and more of the same should see him into the last eight.

Prediction: Opelka in 2
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Marin Cilic vs Hyeon Chung

Head-to-head: Cilic 3-0 Chung

Both players are not at their best at the moment. Marin Cilic, a champion at the US Open and a runner-up at Melbourne Park and Wimbledon, has endured a miserable 18 months and his best days seem to be behind him. Chung, on the other hand, is working his way back from an injury that has badly disrupted his season. Whilst Chung has never beaten or taken a set off Cilic, all of their past three meetings have featured at least one tiebreak in them. And the Korean played well enough in the first round to suggest that he could trouble Cilic. Ultimately, however, it is hard to look past Cilic’s power and experience, although this could well go the distance.

Prediction: Cilic in 3
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Novak Djokovic vs Go Soeda

Head-to-head: first meeting

Djokovic looked sharp on his debut in Tokyo against Alexei Popyrin. The 16-time Grand Slam champion breezed past the young Australian in straight sets 6-4 6-2 and there were no signs of the shoulder injury that forced him out of the US Open a month ago. His opponent, Go Soeda was also impressive in the first round as he beat Jan-Lennard Struff in a close three-set encounter to claim his first win at the Japan Open. However, the 35-year-old Japanese veteran has never beaten a top 10 player in his career (0-12). Soeda will need to put that stat somewhere behind his mind when he steps onto the court and also believe that the crowd will help him over the finish line. But even with the crowd’s support, it is hard to see how he can hurt Djokovic.

Prediction: Djokovic in 2

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