ATP Sofia Open Day Three Predictions Including Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Salvatore Caruso

Felix Auger-Aliassime in action ahead of the ATP Sofia Open

There looks set to be plenty of entertaining tennis on day three at the ATP Sofia Open, the final tournament of the regular season and we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for four of the six matches on the slate for Wednesday. But who will book their place in the quarterfinals?

ATP Sofia Open Day Three Predictions

John Millman vs Gilles Simon

Head-to-head: Simon 1-0 Millman

Long rallies look set to be the order of the day here with both John Millman and Gilles Simon exceedingly consistent from the baseline, without boasting any weapons of real note. At his best, Simon was able to grind opponent’s down with his superb court-coverage, before striking with well-directed linear shots. And whilst the Frenchman is no longer the force he once was, he has recaptured some of the old magic so far in Sofia, coming through the qualifying before thrashing Andrej Martin in the first round.

But Millman looks likely to provide significantly more resistance than any of Simon’s previous opponents. Although the Australian can be vulnerable to off days, as he demonstrated by losing 4-6 2-6 to Miomir Kecmanovic last week at the Paris Masters, he made a fine start to his campaign at the ATP Sofia Open by beating Adrian Andreev for the loss of only four games in the first round. Expect a much closer contest in this match, but for Millman to once again emerge as the victor.

Prediction: Millman in 3
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Alex de Minaur vs Aslan Karatsev

Head-to-head: first meeting

Although he hasn’t been helped by injuries, not least the abdominal problem that forced him out of his home Slam at Melbourne Park, Alex de Minaur will surely be frustrated by this season. He has posted some good results, including reaching the last eight at the US Open and the final at the European Open in Antwerp, but he has also been inconsistent and has three times lost in the first round since the season resumed in August.

And he will not have things all his own in his opener at the ATP Sofia Open up against Aslan Karatsev. The Russian is relatively inexperienced at this level, but he has been in fine form of late, reaching the final at the Ostrava Challenger, the second round in St Petersburg and qualifying successfully at the Astana Open. Still, de Minaur is the better player of the two and the Australian looks as though he may have turned the corner in recent weeks. Expect him to prove just about too strong for Karatsev.

Prediction: de Minaur in 3
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Jannik Sinner vs Marc-Andrea Huesler

Head-to-head: first meeting

After losing his first two matches after the restart at the relocated Cincinnati Masters and the US Open, Jannik Sinner has been, for the most part, playing superb tennis. Foremost amongst his recent successes is certainly his run to the French Open quarterfinals, which is currently his best run at a Major, but he also reached the semifinals at the Cologne Championships, where it took eventual champion Alexander Zverev to stop his charge.

That said, Switzerland’s Marc-Andrea Huesler has also been playing some fine tennis of late, albeit at a lower-level. The 24-year-old won back-to-back Challenger Tour titles in Sibiu and Ismaning in September and October. He then enjoyed a piece of good fortune by being awarded his place at the ATP Sofia Open as a lucky loser, but he took advantage of his luck by beating Nikoloz Basilashvili in three sets in the first round. Sinner’s power, however, looks likely to make this a match too far for Huesler.

Prediction: Sinner in 2
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Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Salvatore Caruso

Head-to-head: first meeting

Much has been made of Felix Auger-Aliassime’s failure to get over the line in an ATP final in his first six attempts. Whilst that is perhaps unfair on a player who is still yet to celebrate his 21st birthday, it is nonetheless a conversation that one suspects the Canadian would dearly love to put to bed this week by winning the title at the ATP Sofia Open. His first obstacle will be Italy’s Salvatore Caruso, who battled past home hope Dimitar Kuzmanov in the first round in Bulgaria.

In truth, it would be a surprise if Caruso repeated that feat against the second-seeded Canadian. Caruso remains primarily a clay-court specialist and although he has enjoyed some success indoors of late, notably qualifying for the European Open in Antwerp, Auger-Aliassime is surely a cut above. More to the point, Auger-Aliassime should have plenty of confidence after winning the doubles title in Bercy last week alongside Hubert Hurkacz. Expect him to overpower Caruso here.

Prediction: Auger-Aliassime in 2

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