ATP Moscow Day 1 Predictions including Cristian Garin vs Andreas Seppi

Andreas Seppi Cristian Garin

Moscow plays host to the Kremlin Cup once more, but there is a change of venue this year. Out goes the Olympic Stadium, where the Kremlin Cup has been played since 1990, and in comes the Ice Palace Krylatskoye. This arena is more used to seeing speed skating and bandy. Let’s hope that they don’t give the tennis a cool reception this year. The men’s tournament begins with only three matches on Monday. Here is my take on all three starting with Cristian Garin and Andreas Seppi.

Cristian Garin vs Andreas Seppi

No previous meetings

Interestingly, the Chilean Cristian Garin has never played a main tour match on an indoor hard court. Comparing this to the veteran Italian, Andreas Seppi has played a ridiculous 139 tour-level matches in these conditions.

However, the facts are that Andreas Seppi has lost more of those matches than he has won so this is unlikely to be a deciding factor in this match on its own. Neither player has shown a particularly strong level on hard courts in the past year, both players carry losing records on a hard surface into this clash.

Garin is undoubtedly the player who is on the rise in this match-up. Seppi is now 35 and is ranked in the lower half of the top 100. Whilst he still makes players work hard to beat him, more and more players are finding the answers than they used to when the Italian was in the top 16/32 a few years ago.

Despite the Chilean’s lack of experience in the conditions, I think he will have a game that is too strong for the veteran Italian and he should come through once he gets used to the surroundings.

Prediction: Garin in 2.

Lukas Rosol vs Juan Ignacio Londero

No previous meetings

The veteran Czech has battled his way through qualifying to face off against the Argentine clay-court specialist for the first time in their careers.

That this is a first meeting is not entirely surprising given the trajectory of their respective careers. Rosol is 34 now and ranked at #152 in the world, it would be fair to say that his best days are behind him. Meanwhile, Londero, though not a youngster by any means, is enjoying his breakthrough season on the ATP Tour having plied his trade mainly on the South American clay-court Challenger events until 2019.

Rosol has enjoyed some excellent results on quicker surfaces, his last final appearance at any level was at the lightning-quick Bratislava Challenger this time last year. Overall in his career, he has a better win/loss record on clay, but in the last twelve months, his indoor hard court data is far better than any other surface. This has only been improved by his wins in qualifying.

Londero may have got onto the tour courtesy of a fantastic golden swing on the clay of South America, but since then he has been quietly impressive on a variety of surfaces. He has beaten the likes of Sam Querrey and Matteo Berrettini on hard court but has little experience of playing indoors. In fact, much the same as fellow South American Cristian Garin, this match will be the Argentine’s first on indoor hard.

Despite the disparity in ranking, 100 places between the players, Rosol should have a good shot at causing an upset here. Londero may be ropey early on against a player very much used to the conditions. I expect the first set to be tight, but then the extra class and confidence of Londero should show the longer the match progresses.

Prediction: Londero in 3.

Adrian Mannarino vs Damir Dzumhur

Head-to-Head Record: 3-1

It may be fair to say that having battled through qualifying that Damir Dzumhur probably would have preferred to dodge the left-handed Frenchman in the main draw.

The head-to-head record stated above includes a chastening 6-1, 6-4 defeat only two weeks ago in Shenzhen. Conditions there are comparable to the ones to be found in Moscow, though this is a new venue for the tournament so there may subtle differences this year.

Both players come into this match with losing records in the last twelve months in indoor hard conditions. Dzumhur especially has found it difficult to hold serve in his indoor matches, whilst, ironically, Mannarino has found breaking serve tricky.

It seems as though Mannarino has the upper hand in this particular match-up and I would expect the seventh seed to progress against the qualifier. No tiebreaks seem likely as there has been a lot of breaks in matches between these two, and I just think that the Frenchman will be able to hold slightly more often than the Bosnian.

Prediction: Mannarino in 2.

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