It’s been an incredible first day of ATP tennis in Buenos Aires and the action continues on Day 2 with more exciting matchups! Who will win and who will fall short? Read on for my best guesses! I also predict the other four matches in a second article.
ATP Buenos Aires Day 2 Predictions
Lukas Klein vs Andrej Martin
Head to Head: never played (non-exhibition)
Lukas Klein had a very successful qualifying campaign. He won all three qualifying matches in straight sets, winning over 80% of his first serve points in his final two qualifying matches against Thiago Seyboth Wild and Ernesto Escobedo. Andrej Martin is looking to bounce back after a straight sets defeat to Tomas Etcheverry. Martin defended well and was very consistent in that match, but failed to produce the power needed to win.
These two have never played a non-exhibition match. This match comes down to whether or not Klein is able to continue serving at the level he has. While Martin will force some errors out of Klein, with the way Klein has played in qualifying, it’s hard not to pick him here. Expect Klein to have a bit too much power for Martin in this one.
Prediction: Klein in 3
Sumit Nagal vs Joao Sousa
Head to Head: never played
Sumit Nagal did well to qualify for this tournament. He had to battle through in a couple tough matches, but was able to fight his way to victory. However, it’s clear he’s worn down by the tough qualifying campaign.Joao Sousa has had a miserable run of form. He’s lost seven of his past eight matches, including a straight sets loss to Roberto Carballes Baena last week.
These two have never played before. I’m concerned about whether Nagal will be able to physically hold up, if Sousa can be consistent from the baseline. While Sousa is not in good form, he should feast on the return, as Nagal has not been able to hold serve consistently at all. Given the physical concerns and Nagal’s weak serve, Sousa should move on in this one.
Prediction: Sousa in 2
Albert Ramos vs Holger Rune
Head to Head: never played
Albert Ramos came within a set of the title in Cordoba, but fell in three sets to Juan Manuel Cerundolo. Ramos used his lefty game fairly effectively all week and battled past the opposition in some tight matches to reach the final. Holger Rune received a wild card to this tournament. He has a solid game, but has not had much success beyond the Futures level.
These two have never played before. Ramos’ main concern is a drop in level following the long week in Cordoba. I expect some sort of hangover, but the difference in level between these two is so great, I think that Ramos should still be able to squeak this match out. Ramos’ consistency and depth from the baseline should be too much for Rune to handle. But, because of the final in Cordoba, this one might not be straightforward.
Prediction: Ramos in 3
Facundo Bagnis vs Frances Tiafoe
Head to Head: 1-0 Tiafoe
Facundo Bagnis had a very good week in Cordoba, making the semifinals before falling in three sets to Albert Ramos. Bagnis did well when he was aggressive with his lefty forehand and his backhand held up fairly well last week. Frances Tiafoe is playing his first match of the Golden Swing. Tiafoe has made the final of an ATP 250 event on clay and won three clay Challenger titles, so he can play on the dirt.
Tiafoe leads the head to head 1-0, but the match was in 2015, so it’s not really relevant here. Bagnis did so well last week in terms of being the aggressor and controlling the baseline. Tiafoe will have to land first serves and really make an effort to step up in the court, to avoid being pulled around by the Bagnis ground game. This is a match where you throw the rankings out the window (Bagnis is World No. 115 and Tiafoe is World No. 62). Bagnis has spent a lot of time on the Argentinian clay and is playing well, while Tiafoe is playing his first match of the season on the dirt. Bagnis advances.
Prediction: Bagnis in 3
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