Day 3 of the ATP Murray River Open is here! It’s been an exciting event so far and Day 3 is sure not to disappoint. Who will win and who will fall short? I give my best guesses here!
ATP Murray River Open Day 3 Predictions
Casper Ruud vs Jiri Vesely
Head to Head: never played
Casper Ruud is starting his season with this match at the Murray River Open. Ruud won his first ATP title last year in Buenos Aires and will be looking to take another step in 2021. Jiri Vesely comfortably got past Frederico Ferreira Silva in the first round of this tournament. Vesely was not broken and won 85% of his first serve points while serving at 74% first serves.
These two have never played before. There will be huge forehands in this match, as Ruud’s forehand is strong and Vesely’s lefty forehand is strong. I really like how Vesely is serving and he’s more comfortable on hard courts. He’s also played a couple matches this season, whereas Ruud hasn’t. Vesely advances in a tight one.
Prediction: Vesely in 3
Yuichi Sugita vs Felix Auger-Aliassime
Head to Head: never played
Yuichi Sugita did well to come back from a set down to beat Quentin Halys in the first round. Sugita was two points from defeat during the second set. Felix Auger-Aliassime is playing his first match in 2021. The Canadian lost his final four matches in 2020, so he will be looking to start the new season on a better note.
These two have never played before. If Auger-Aliassime was warmed up and had played a few matches, I think he would win this one easily. He has a huge serve and can really hit through the court. However, he doesn’t play with super high margins and Sugita is going to get a lot of balls back and force Auger-Aliassime to play a lot of shots. Auger-Aliassime wins, but it won’t be easy.
Prediction: Auger-Aliassime in 3
Corentin Moutet vs Albert Ramos
Head to Head: 1-0 Ramos
Corentin Moutet came back from a set down to beat Frances Tiafoe in the first round of the Murray River Open. Moutet caught fire from the baseline during the second and third sets. Albert Ramos picked up his first hard court win since Adelaide 2020 when he took down Blake Mott in the first round. Ramos has struggled with his form a lot during 2020, so it was nice to see him pick up the win there.
Ramos leads the head to head 1-0, but it was on clay. This will be a fun battle of the lefties. Ramos tries to win through his heavy-topspin forehand and court positioning. Moutet uses a lot of variety and angles on the court. I thought that Moutet played really great tennis to put away Tiafoe and that should be enough to get him through this match too. I just don’t trust Ramos enough on a hard court.
Prediction: Moutet in 2
Stan Wawrinka vs Mikhail Kukushkin
Head to Head: tied 2-2
This is Stan Wawrinka’s first match of the season. The No. 1 seed last played at the 2020 Paris Masters. Mikhail Kukushkin started off this tournament strong, coming back from a set down to beat Juan Ignacio Londero. Londero played very well during the match, but Kukushkin’s flat groundstrokes and consistency were too much for the Argentinian to handle.
The head to head is tied 2-2, but the last match between them was in 2014. Wawrinka might be a little rusty in this one and Kukushkin is always a tricky player to face. Wawrinka’s first serve percentage will need to be high and he will need to be aggressive from the baseline. I think Wawrinka just edges this one out. Wawrinka moves on.
Prediction: Wawrinka in 3
Main Photo from Getty.