ATP Murray River Open Day 3 Predictions Including Andrew Harris vs Grigor Dimitrov

Federico Coria in action ahead of the ATP Murray River Open

The action at the ATP Murray River Open is set to intensify on day three as a number of star names join the action at Melbourne Park. And with the Australian Open looming large on the horizon, players should not lack motivation to try and find their very best tennis. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate, including Adrian Mannarino vs Marcos Giron. But who will book their place in the last 16?

ATP Murray River Open Day Three Predictions

Tommy Paul vs Alexei Popyrin

Head-to-head: Paul 1-0 Popyrin

If this pair’s only previous clash is anything to go by, the spectators at the ATP Murray River Open could be in for some match. It was Tommy Paul who came out on top in that match, which was contested in the first round of qualifying at the Rogers Cup in 2019, and the American may well feel confident about his chances in Melbourne. Although he was not at his best in Delray Beach, where he lost in the second round to Sebastian Korda, he bounced back impressively to beat Cameron Norrie in his opener at Melbourne Park.

Alexei Popyrin, meanwhile, has generally played well in Australia, notably reaching the third round at the Australian Open in 2019 and 2020, but he has struggled to make good on his considerable promise elsewhere. And, having been made to work extremely hard for his 6-7 7-6 7-6 win over Borna Gojo in the first round, he may be short of energy coming into this match. In a match in which Paul was already the favourite, that could well prove to be fatal to his chances.

Prediction: Paul in 2
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Ugo Humbert vs James Duckworth

Head-to-head: first meeting

After a career-best 2020, one imagines that Ugo Humbert will be keen to get his 2021 season underway. The 23-year-old, who received a first-round bye as the seventh seed at the ATP Murray River Open, will open his campaign in Melbourne against home hope James Duckworth, who scored a very solid 6-3 6-4 win over Tomas Machac in the first round. However, for all Duckworth’s commendable industry, this looks like a tall order for the Australian. Humbert may not possess one standout weapon, but the Frenchman is an exceptionally solid baseliner and can step in and dictate when he needs to. Expect him to prove too strong for Duckworth.

Prediction: Humbert in 2

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Andrew Harris vs Grigor Dimitrov

Head-to-head: first meeting

Whilst it now seems exceedingly unlikely that Grigor Dimitrov will ever win a Grand Slam title, it is also hard not to feel that the hype that he once attracted has overshadowed his accomplishments in the game. A career high-ranking of world #3 and eight titles may be a poor return compared to the greats of the game, but it is more than respectable for a 29-year-old with time still to embellish his resume. He will also surely be glad to be back in Melbourne, where he has played some of his finest tennis.

He may not, however, be overly familiar with his first-round opponent Andrew Harris. The Australian has never been ranked inside the world’s top 150 and arrived in Melbourne having played just one tour-level match in his career. But that did not prevent the 26-year-old from claiming the biggest win of his life up against Japan’s Taro Daniel. Unfortunately for Harris, whilst Dimitrov may have to contend with a degree of ring rust, the difference in experience and talent between the two will almost certainly be too great for him to bridge.

Prediction: Dimitrov in 2
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Federico Coria vs Taylor Fritz

Head-to-head: first meeting

The future looks bright for Taylor Fritz, but the American remains a player who struggles to maintain a consistently high level, as evidenced by his miserable end to 2020 which saw him lose five out of his last six matches. Of course, Fritz is still just 23 and that consistency will surely come, but he will be hoping that it arrives sooner rather than later. He will also presumably be targeting a deep run at the forthcoming Australian Open, having not yet reached the second week at a Major.

But first up for the young gun is Federico Coria, who impressed in his 7-6 6-4 first-round win over Radu Albot. The Argentine remains primarily a clay-court specialist, just as his older brother Guillermo was, but he has shown that he can play on hard courts, last year reaching the second round at the US Open. However, with both men possessing a similar skillset but Fritz unquestionably the better exponent of it, barring a disastrous performance on the American’s part, it is hard to see a path to victory for Coria.

Prediction: Fritz in 2

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