Opening day at the ATP Qatar Open saw some great matches. Jeremy Chardy struggled through a three-set bout before defeating compatriot Gregoire Barrere. Kyle Edmund fell to sixth seed Filip Krajinovic after claiming the first set. The seventh seed Adrian Mannarino fell to rising star Alexander Bublik.
Day 2 should hold equal interest with some excellent matches. Who will come through?
ATP Qatar Open Day 2 Predictions
Frances Tiafoe vs Marton Fucsovics
Head to head: Tiafoe 0-1 Fucsovics
Certainly, Frances Tiafoe can flash moments of brilliance. His big serve and powerful forehand can command at times. It’s the inconsistency, the loss of momentum that prevents the American from reaching the upper echelons. Maybe 2020 will be the 21-year-old’s year. Seeded eighth in Doha, Tiafoe hopes to make a deep run, perhaps even pick up a title. Yet, Marton Fusovics will no doubt present an obstacle.
After winning to qualifying matches, Fucsovics has reached the main draw. The Hungarian will be looking to improve his 2019 appearances where he fell in the second round to Novak Djokovic. The 27-year-old is tenacious and that perseverance will exact a toll on Tiafoe, giving Fucsovics just enough to bounce Tiafoe in the opener.
Prediction: Fucsovics in 2
Aljaz Bedene vs Alexander Bublik
Head to head: First meeting
After a break out 2019, Alexander Bublik started strong in Doha with 6-3, 6-4 win over seventh seed Adrian Mannarino. Converting three of his five break point chances, and launching 10 aces, Bublik commanded in his straight set win at his Qatar Open debut. I can’t see the Russian losing this momentum. It should be a relatively easy win when Bublik meets 30-year-old Aljaz Bedene.
Prediction: Bublik in 2
Marco Cecchinato vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert
Head to head: Cecchinato 0-1 Herbert
After reaching a career high of World #16 in early 2019, Marco Cecchinato finds himself far off that mark. Now sitting at World #75, the Italian will be defending last year’s semifinal run. I’d like his chances better if this were a clay court match – it’s where the Italian tends to excel. It’s hard to put too much emphasis on the head-to-head since Cecchinato and Herbert have only met once.
Pierre-Hugues Herbert hasn’t achieve the results on the singles court which seems to come so easy in his doubles game. A hiatus from doubles and long standing partner Nicolas Mahut didn’t prove the secret ingredient to singles success. The Frenchman again found success at the Nitto ATP Finals alongside Nicolas Mahut. Certainly that doubles prowess will allow Herbert to end points at the net and should frustrate Cecchinato. That’ll give Herbert the edge in this match.
Prediction: Herbert in 2
Stan Wawrinka vs Jeremy Chardy
Head to head: Wawrinka 6-0 Chardy
Definitely not the opponent Jeremy Chardy would like to see in the first round. In six meetings, the Frenchman has yet to find a way to win against Stan Wawrinka. Chardy can grab a set here and there, but nothing close to a win has yet to come his way. Perhaps Stan’s powerful backhand is much too much to bear. Or, perhaps the Swiss has simply got his number. Chardy can keep that scoreline close, giving the #1 seed a battle. Regardless, this will be another match in which Wawrinka walks away the winner.
Prediction: Wawrinka in 2
Main Photo from Getty.