Wednesday at the ATP 500 in Rotterdam did not go like anyone expected. Starting off with World #7 Alexander Zverev getting straight-setted by the young and uprising Bublik, immediately after saw another shock exit in which top seed Daniil Medvedev got sent home by Serbian Dusan Lajovic. Safe to say it’s hard to know what to expect from day 4 at the event, for all we know more top players will be sent home. There’s no top seeds remaining in the top half of the event at all, just let that sink in given the quality of players that started the week!
ATP Rotterdam Day 4 Predictions
Jeremy Chardy vs David Goffin
Where to start with Goffin? After winning his first title in four years last week, a few expected him to have a let down here in Rotterdam, instead he proved all those people wrong with an emphatic 6-4 6-0 win against German Struff. Chardy struggled yesterday against compatriot Humbert saving two match points en route to a good victory but this will be a much bigger test.
A court that plays this slow in rallies automatically favors Goffin once rallies go over a few shots. If he continues his good form should make the quarterfinals. It’s hard to see how Chardy can compete with Goffin but his only real chance will be to serve great and approach the net at every available opportunity to shorten points.
Prediction: Goffin in 2
Borna Coric vs Dusan Lajovic
Head-to-head: Lajovic 1-0
After one of the biggest and best wins of Lajovic’s career, he’s going to have to come out the very next day and try and back it up. The thing that was most impressive against the Russian wasn’t just the end result but how well he played, personally by far the best I’ve ever seen from the Serbian in all my years watching him.
Coric will bring a different gamestyle out to play than Medvedev and will be happy to grind it out from the baseline which could make this match a very long and grueling one. Do I expect Lajovic to keep up his level? I really don’t. Given their only tour match was in clay back in 2017 as well I don’t think it really means much at all. I’m so torn on this one.
Prediction: Coric in 3
Alexander Bublik vs Tommy Paul
Head-to-head: Paul 2-1 (All off main tour)
Much of the same issue Dusan Lajovic faces, how do you back up such a good performance and win immediately after? Bublik will either teach us all or struggle to get close to the level he produced against fellow Alexander, Zverev. Thankfully, with no disrespect to Tommy Paul, it’s not another player at the very top of the game immediately after which makes it a little easier.
The pair have never played on tour but in challengers and qualifiers in the past where Paul leads 2-1. Their only meeting on a hard court ended 7-5 in the final set with Paul getting the W. Another very hard match to call but given Bublik’s recent form I’m not going to put another good win past him.
Prediction: Bublik in 3
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina vs Marton Fucsovics
In what I consider to be the match of the tournament so far, Hungarian Fucsovics put away American Opelka in a final set tiebreak. Not only was the match close, the quality of tennis on both ends was superb with a great winner to unforced error ratio for both men, especially Fucsovics.
Davidovich Fokina, after a good win against Bautista-Agut, is a completely different player to Opelka though. While in the previous match the 29 year old could resort to outlasting Opelka in rallies, Davidovich Fokina has proved he can hang with those around him in the rankings off the ground.
Yet again, this week provides another match which is extremely hard to predict and call and with no previous matches between the pair it’s only harder. Due to experience alone I’m going to have to give Fucsovics the advantage here.
Prediction: Fucsovics in 3
Hubert Hurkacz vs Stefanos Tsitsipas
Head-to-head: Tsitsipas 5-1
Hurkacz got his first win in almost a month in the first round against Mannarino and now he’s up against the the second seed. That’s surely asking for far too much from the talented Pole, right? Long story short, the answer would be yes, Tsitsipas dominates the head-to-head 5-0 including a win here last year.
But on the other hand, despite coming through in straight sets, the Greek looked vulnerable in his first round match, it may have just been rustiness but if he doesn’t improve this could be closer than most people expect. Going back to the head-to-head, even though this year’s Australian Open semifinalist leads 5-1, his last three wins have all been in a final set. I expect Tsitsipas to get the win but this could end up in another final set.
Prediction: Tsitsipas in 3
Main Photo from Getty.