ATP Kremlin Cup Day 3 Predictions Including Lukas Rosol vs Dusan Lajovic

Dusan Lajovic Kremlin Cup

Already at the Kremlin Cup, there has been no shortage of entertaining action. The first round is now all but complete, with just two opening-round matches remaining on the slate. In the round of 16, the big guns will join the fray. But who will survive to see day four in Moscow?

Kremlin Cup Day Three Predictions

Andreas Seppi vs Roberto Carballes Baena

Head-to-head: first meeting

The veteran Andreas Seppi rode his luck in the first round. Cristian Garin had three match points in the second set to knock him out, but the Italian survived. However, his comeback win may well have taken a fair amount out of the 35-year-old’s legs. But Roberto Carballes Baena had to fight through a three-set battle of his own, beating the Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis 6-2 4-6 6-3. And this may well prove to be another closely contested affair.

The Spaniard certainly can’t match Seppi’s experience on indoor hard courts, but he has proven to be  surprisingly comfortable indoors for a clay-court specialist. It is not a transition many make with ease, even the great Rafael Nadal struggles indoors, but the unusually slow court surface at the Kremlin Cup may be helping Carballes Baena’s cause. His return game has also impressed so far and he will need to be sharp in that department against Seppi. But he should be the fresher of the two physically and in a match with little in it, that could well prove to be decisive.

Prediction: Carballes Baena in 3
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Alibek Kachmazov vs Alen Avidzba

Head-to-head: first meeting

In what will be both player’s first match in a main draw ATP event the Russian wildcards Alibek Kachmazov vs Alen Avidzba will meet for a place in the second round. The 19-year-old Alen Avidzba is the more experienced of the pair. He is ranked 498th in the world, has played an ATP qualifying match, losing to Facundo Bagnis in Sao Paolo earlier this year and has an ITF title to his name after picking up winning a Futures event in Toulouse in 2018. However, it is Alibek Kachmazov who is arguably the better prospect.

The 17-year-old has reached a high of #54 in the junior rankings, with a win in a junior tournament in Tashkent propelling him into qualifying for the main draw of the Roland Garros juniors. Kachmazov won a round on the clay and since then has decided to begin playing in the senior ranks. He impressed in an ITF tournament in Uzbekistan last week, reaching the semifinal of a senior event for the first time. But, this match may have come a few months too early for Kachmazov, although like Andrey Rublev before him, it may well benefit the youngster in the long run. Nonetheless, though it likely won’t be straightforward, expect the older Avidzba to progress.

Prediction: Avidzba in 3

Lukas Rosol vs Dusan Lajovic

Head-to-head: Rosol 2-0 Lajovic

The qualifier Lukas Rosol was another player slightly fortunate to emerge from the first round unscathed. He was match point down to Juan Ignacio Londero, who has enjoyed an excellent year, in the second set, but saved himself to win 6-7 7-6 6-3. Monte Carlo Masters finalist Dusan Lajovic’s last win on tour also came against Londero, but that was back in Chengdu in September. Two first-round defeats have followed, so the Serbian, seeded fourth in Moscow, will be keen to get back to winning ways here.

Both players possess a strong serve and will rely on that to set themselves up in the rallies. There is little to separate their indoor records, with Rosol’s slight advantage negated by the number of qualifying matches he has played compared with Lajovic. There is a considerable gulf between them in the rankings, with Lajovic just outside the top 30 at world #31 whilst Rosol languishes outside the top 150. But Lajovic is much more at home on clay than on an indoor hard court. Nonetheless, he is by a distance the more consistent of the two off the ground and that should just give him the edge.

Prediction: Lajovic in 3

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