ATP Antalya Day 1 Predictions Including Pierre-Hugues Herbert vs David Goffin

David Goffin

It’s January again (life moves pretty fast, huh?) and we’re in the first week of the 2021 tennis season. After over a month of practicing, there is little that we know of the players’ disposition coming to Antalya. Who made the best use of the off-season and whose momentum completely disappeared? We predict all of Thursday’s matches for you, between this and a second article.

ATP Antalya Day 1 Predictions

Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Andrea Arnaboldi

Head-to-head: First meeting

Nikoloz Basilashvili certainly could use a break after a dreadful end to the 2020 season. Facing charges of domestic abuse in front of a minor coincided with a losing streak of nine matches. During that period, he took just one set. This seems like a great opportunity to get back to winning ways. In his last match of 2020, a loss to Marc-Andrea Huesler in Sofia, there were some encouraging signs. Andrea Arnaboldi has a quite old-school all-court game that could trouble the Georgian but if Basilashvili can get himself together, the difference in class should be visible.
Prediction: Basilashvili in 2

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Salvatore Caruso vs Alexander Bublik

Head-to-head: First meeting

This one is very tough to call without knowing pretty much anything about their current level. Alexander Bublik undoubtedly has a lot of potential but is way too often held back by a very unstable mentality. The Kazakh can lose interest in the match out of nowhere and resorts to unusual shots to keep himself entertained. Against such an opponent like Salvatore Caruso, whose main quality is consistency off the ground, it should lead to a highly entertaining contest. With both players starting the year fresh and probably a bit rusty, that consistency of the Italian could be the deciding factor.
Prediction: Caruso in 3

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Pierre-Hugues Herbert vs David Goffin

Head-to-head: 5-0 Goffin

David Goffin’s 2020 season wasn’t one of his best and by the time October rolled around, his confidence seemed to be really shaken. This is a match-up he should usually win on a hard court but Pierre-Hugues Herbert is a tricky opponent to face when you’re lacking match practice. The Frenchman employs a wide array of tactics like drop shots or ventures to the net, trying not to give the opponent any rhythm off the ground. For Goffin, whose strengths lie in great timing from the baseline, this won’t be ideal. The history of their matches speaks for itself though and shows that every time, Goffin was up to the challenge. Tomorrow’s match might be their most even though.
Prediction: Goffin in 3

Main Photo from Getty.


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