ATP Cincinnati Masters Day 3 Predictions Including Dominic Thiem vs Filip Krajinovic

Dominic Thiem in action ahead of the Cincinnati Masters

There should be no shortage of exciting tennis on day three at the Cincinnati Masters, with a number of star names in action, including four of the ATP’s top ten. We here at LWOT are offering our predictions for all 14 matches, including Daniil Medvedev vs Marcos Giron, Novak Djokovic vs Ricardas Berankis and Andy Murray vs Alexander Zverev. But who will reach the last 16?

Cincinnati Masters Day Three Predictions

Taylor Fritz vs Aljaz Bedene

Head-to-head: first meeting

Aljaz Bedene has looked in good shape so far at the Cincinnati Masters. After coming through the qualifying with wins over the USA’s Denis Kudla and Dennis Novak of Austria, the Slovakian scored an excellent 6-4 6-7 6-0 win over Cristian Garin of Chile, seeded 13th in Flushing Meadows. However, he will likely need to recapture that high level when he takes on American #2 Taylor Fritz for a place in the last 16.

The Californian Fritz has enjoyed a productive 18 months, winning his first title on the grass in Eastbourne last season before reaching the final at the ATP 500 Mexican Open in February, just before the season was suspended. That was doubtless frustrating for the 21-year-old, but it does not appear to have checked his progress. In his Cincinnati Masters opener, he hammered the South African Lloyd Harris 6-1 6-3 and will surely be full of confidence heading into the second round.

Long rallies seem likely to be the order of the day here, with both men possessing solid games from the baseline and generally taking a patient approach. But Fritz can inject that much more power than his opponent and also possesses a better serve, having worked hard to improve that shot over the past two years. On courts at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center that tend to favour aggressive intent, that could well prove to be the difference between the pair.

Prediction: Fritz in 3
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John Isner vs John Millman

Head-to-head: Isner 3-0 Millman

John Isner may have slipped down the rankings, falling outside the top 20 after finishing 2018 ranked 10th in the world, but he showed in his first-round win over the young gun Hubert Hurkacz that he is still a force to be reckoned with. As ever, Isner’s performance was built around his own serve, but he did well to twice break the Hurkacz serve. As a result, he will surely feel confident about his chances against John Millman, all the more so because he has won all three of their previous meetings.

But Millman does have an excellent record in New York, highlighted by his run to the quarterfinals in 2018 which included a fourth-round upset of Roger Federer. The Australian delivered a determined display to get the better of Adrian Mannarino in his opener, sealing the win in a third-set tiebreak. But whilst his previous contests with Isner have all been close, it cannot be a coincidence that the American has won all of them. Expect him to triumph once again.

Prediction: Isner in 3
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Dominic Thiem vs Filip Krajinovic

Head-to-head: Thiem 1-0 Krajinovic

The suspension of the season could not have come at a worse time for Dominic Thiem. The Austrian has made impressive strides over the past two years, establishing himself as a force on hard courts as well as his favoured clay, as illustrated by his charge to the title in Indian Wells in 2019 and a runners-up finish at the Australian Open earlier this year. He will doubtless be hoping that the lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic has not put an undue check on that progress.

Inactivity would certainly not be the cause if it has, with Thiem playing regularly in exhibitions across Europe on all three surfaces whilst he waited for the season to resume. That included a match against Filip Krajinovic, his second-round opponent at the Cincinnati Masters, on clay during the ill-fated Adria Tour. Thiem won that match and their only previous competitive meeting, which came seven years ago in the semifinals at the Casablanca Challenger.

Much has changed for both men since then, but it is hard to see Krajinovic managing to turn the tables on Thiem this time around. The Serbian did play well in beating Salvatore Caruso 7-5 6-4, but Thiem represents a significant step up in class. Krajinovic is a good mover and possesses an accurate forehand, but he does not have the power to go toe-to-toe with Thiem from the baseline nor the speed to resist Thiem’s aggression. All of which points towards a Thiem win.

Prediction: Thiem in 2

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