Australian Open Day 2 Predictions Including Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Ernests Gulbis

Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Ernests Gulbis
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Young Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime takes on veteran shotmaker Ernests Gulbis on day 2 of the Australian Open, while the athletic Gael Monfils drew Rendy Lu in the first round. Damian Kust, Yesh Ginsburg, and Jim Smith offer their predictions.

Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Ernests Gulbis

Jim: Felix Auger-Aliassime still hasn’t played his best tennis in 2020. But after a terrible showing at the ATP Cup, he managed to get back to winning ways at the Auckland Open, where he reached the semifinals, losing narrowly to eventual champion Andrey Rublev. That bodes well for his Australian Open campaign. However, Gulbis, though no longer at his best, has the quality to trouble the young Canadian. But probably not the composure to beat him. Felix Auger-Aliassime in 4

Damian: The youngster was very up and down in the first two weeks of the season, ranging from a walking disaster to forcing Andrey Rublev to dig very deep. Gulbis has been a shadow of his former self for a couple of years now but we all know how dangerous he can be. If the “Latvian” is to turn up here, then this screams upset alert for me. Gulbis in 5

Yesh: Felix Auger-Aliassime is not in the best form right now, and he had the misfortune of drawing the always-tricky Ernests Gulbis. I expect the Canadian to win, but don’t be surprised if he falls off a bit at times. Auger-Aliassime in 4

Vasek Pospisil vs Ivo Karlovic

Jim: Don’t expect many long rallies here. But though Karlovic’s qualities have often be underrated due to the focus on his serve, that serve is now just about the only weapon left in the veteran’s locker. Pospisil, in contrast, has looked a man renewed after finally managing to find some fitness. He has the greater variety and mobility and that should give him the edge. Pospisil in 5

Damian: The Canadian ended the season on a very high note and proved it again in Auckland, qualifying for the event and losing a tight game to Denis Shapovalov, Playing Karlovic is always a bit of a lottery but Pospisil’s serve should be too solid to give the Croatian many opportunities. Karlovic in 4

Yesh: Karlovic is still plugging away, though his ranking has plummeted and his game is not what it once was. Pospisil in 4 

Yen-hsun Lu vs Gael Monfils

Jim: In his day, Lu was an excellent player, particularly on quicker courts. But the Taiwanese has surely been absent from the tour for too long to give Monfils, who has played some good tennis so far this season, a real challenge. Monfils in 3

Damian: Lu will be playing his first match in his two years. After countless injuries, it’s very hard to estimate the Taiwanese current level. But nevertheless, beating Monfils after such a long break would be a big of an ask, Monfils in 3

Yesh: Monfils is surprisingly one of the best hard-court players statistically. As long as he keeps focus, he’ll go far here. Monfils in 3

Kevin Anderson vs Ilya Ivashka

Jim: Don’t be fooled by Anderson’s lowly ranking, he could do real damage this fortnight at Melbourne Park is his performances at the ATP Cup are anything to go on. The South African has an excellent serve and forehand, as well as a solid backhand, and few will relish playing him. Ivashka, meanwhile, impressed in coming through the qualifying. But he seems to be in danger of being outclassed here. Anderson in 3

Damian: The Belarusian was very good in the qualies but Anderson’s a two-time Grand Slam runner-up and if he’s anywhere near his regular level, he should cruise here. The ATP Cup was a very positive sign for the South African. Anderson in 4

Yesh: Ivashka is a good rising player, but Kevin Anderson was the fourth-best player in the world recently. Injuries have hampered him, but as long as the South African is healthy and comfortable, he’ll win. Anderson in 4

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