ATP Kremlin Cup Day 2 Predictions including Alexander Bublik vs Andrey Rublev

On day two at the Kremlin Cup, the remainder of the first-round matches will be played and there should be no shortage of entertaining action in store for the fans in Moscow. But who will book their place in the round of 16 in the Russian capital.

Kremlin Cup Day Two Predictions

Alexander Bublik vs Andrey Rublev

Head-to-head: Bublik 1-0 Rublev

This match is probably the pick of the first round with both having put together impressive seasons. The Kazakh Alexander Bublik has really found his feet on the main tour in 2019, having made the step up from the Challenger Tour. In the last 12 months, he picked up four titles and won 65% of his matches at that level. He has been able to use the momentum that generated to establish himself as a regular on the main tour, reaching finals in on the grass in Newport and three weeks ago in Chengdu.

After a 2018 campaign blighted by injury, Andrey Rublev has been resurgent this season. He is still searching for a second title after winning in Umag in 2017, beating Paolo Lorenzi in the final, but he made the final in Hamburg in July as well as the last eight in Cincinnati and has returned to the world’s top 50. However, despite being from Moscow, Rublev has a dreadful record at the Kremlin Cup, having lost all six of the matches he has played at the event. Conversely, he has not lost in the first round since the Washington Open.

Bublik has the ability to play shots that very few would attempt, and even fewer can return. However, he has a real problem with consistency and like most of tennis’ showmen, he has a tendency to switch off. Thus whilst it is likely that Bublik will reel off a run of games at some stage, the outcome of the match will be decided by Rublev’s reaction to that. If the Russian can maintain his composure and play the percentages he should advance. Unfortunately, he is yet to do that at the Kremlin Cup.

Prediction: Bublik in 3
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Ivo Karlovic vs Aljaz Bedene

Head-to-head: Bedene 4-0 Karlovic

Aljaz Bedene’s dominance of his rivalry with the veteran Ivo Karlovic, if indeed it can be called a rivalry, is quite remarkable. They first played each other in 2011 and have met three times since across all the surfaces used on the ATP Tour. Bedene has won all four matches. Their most recent clash came at Wimbledon in 2017 with the only break of serve coming in the 65th game as Bedene sealed a 6-7 7-6 6-7 7-6 8-6 win in the first round. One rather suspects that tiebreaks will again play a prominent role. But as Bedene has so decisively enjoyed the better of this rivalry, having never been broken by Karlovic, and with the courts playing slower than usual, it is hard to see any outcome other than another Bedene win.

Prediction: Bedene in 2
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Jeremy Chardy vs Nicolas Jarry

Head-to-head: Chardy 1-1 Jarry

This will be the pair’s third meeting of 2019, with Jeremy Chardy edging to a hard-fought 6-7 6-2 7-6 win in the first round in Miami and Jarry coming out on top decisively on the clay in Bastad, losing just five games. But with Jarry yet to win an ATP match on an indoor hard court in five attempts, Chardy may well feel confident about his chances of claiming another victory over the Chilean. Thus whilst Chardy himself has a losing record indoors having gone 40-45 so far in his career, experience certainly counts in his favour.

Jarry likely chose to play at the Kremlin Cup because of the comparatively slow conditions, which should give him plenty of time to wind up his big groundstrokes. If he can serve well and target the weak Chardy backhand and second serve, he should be able to keep things competitive. But Chardy has the superior all-court game and his often errant ball toss should be less of a problem indoors. Expect him to progress from what should be a tight match.

Prediction: Chardy in 3
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Philipp Kohlschreiber vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert

Head-to-head: Kohlschreiber 5-1 Herbert

The veteran German Philipp Kohlschreiber has lost five out of his last six first-round matches. Pierre Hugues-Herbert, meanwhile, finally broke a seven-match losing streak by beating Jan-Lennard Struff last time out at the Moselle Open, only to lose in the second round to eventual champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. And having won just one of six against the precise Kohlschreiber, he may not feel confident about his chances of getting back to winning ways at the Kremlin Cup.

However, Kohlschreiber hasn’t been seen on the ATP Tour since his first-round defeat to Lucas Pouille at the US Open, instead plying his trade on the Challenger Tour, where he has found wins hard to come by. Though he did reach the semifinals at the Firenze Tennis Cup in Florence in his last outing, he lost to then-world #334 Riccardo Bonadio in Szczecin. Both players, then, are surely short on confidence. But Kohlschreiber has clearly enjoyed playing Herbert and the slow conditions will not help the Frenchman’s serve-and-volley game. Expect Kohlschreiber to come through.

Prediction: Kohlschreiber in 2

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