ATP Miami Open Day 3 Predictions Including Roberto Bautista Agut vs Lloyd Harris

Roberto Bautista Agut in action ahead of the ATP Miami Open.

The seeded players at the ATP Miami Open are set to take to the court for the first time on Thursday. While the field is missing a few big names, there is still more than enough quality on show to make this tournament one to remember.

Day three will see the second round commence with 16 matches on the schedule and, as ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate, including Alexander Zverev vs Emil Ruusuvuori, Daniil Medvedev vs Lu Yen-hsun and Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert. But who will advance?

ATP Miami Open Day Three Predictions

Alexei Popyrin vs Reilly Opelka

Head-to-head: first meeting

The form of these two players could not be more contrasting. Alexei Popyrin has lost just two of his last ten matches, with the Australian picking up his first tour-level title in Singapore last month, a run that included impressive wins over Alexander Bublik and Marin Cilic. He now finds himself at a career-high ranking of #86, and will be hoping to improve on it with another win here.

Reilly Opelka, on the other hand, has won just two matches this year and the big-serving American is currently on a four-match losing streak. However, his huge serve and big forehand should be useful weapons at the ATP Miami Open. He is certainly a better player than his recent results would suggest and he is sure to get back to winning ways sooner rather than later.

Still, based on their form, Popyrin should win this comfortably. But tennis is a strange game and, except perhaps for the truly elite, players in the sport are prone to dips and rises in their form that can be quite pronounced. Popyrin, who has perhaps outperformed his potential in recent weeks, might be due just such a dip. Opelka takes this in a close affair.

Prediction: Opelka in 3
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Mikael Ymer vs Nikoloz Basilashvili

Head-to-head: first meeting

Mikael Ymer is one of the young rising talents on the ATP Tour. The Swede is a great mover, particularly on clay, but his ability to hug the baseline and take the ball early make him a threat on any surface. He also has no real weaknesses in his game. But he also currently lacks the sort of weapons that could take him towards the top of the men’s game. Still, after a good first-round win over another young talent in Alejandro Tabilo, Ymer will surely be keen to push on and make a deep run in Miami.

Standing in his way is the man who seemed to rediscover his best tennis out of nowhere in Doha, and in some style too. Basilashvili has struggled since the tour returned last August, with a charge of domestic violence levied against the Georgian by his ex-wife having clearly affected his game. After losing all but two of his matches since returning to the tour, Basilashvili stormed to his fourth career title in Qatar, beating Roger Federer and Roberto Bautista Agut along the way.

Basilashvili is one of the more powerful ball strikers in the game and can be almost unplayable when he is on song. His time on the tour may be limited, with a court date for his domestic violence case set for June of this year. However, expect him to make the most of his tennis until then, starting with a win in his first match in Miami.

Prediction: Basilashvili in 3
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Jannik Sinner vs Hugo Gaston

Head-to-head: Sinner 1-0 Gaston

Jannik Sinner is quickly starting to look like the favourite to dominate men’s tennis for years to come when the Big Three finally relinquish their grip on the game. The young Italian plays fearless, aggressive tennis and has all the tools establish himself as one of the greats if he continues to improve at this rate. Sinner has two ATP titles to his name already at just 19 years of age. Both came in the last seven months, and he also reached the quarterfinals at the French Open last season.

That run showed he can perform on the biggest stages in the sport. The ATP Miami Open is his chance to prove that was no fluke. Facing him is Frenchman Hugo Gaston, who also enjoyed an excellent showing at Roland Garros last year, reaching the fourth round where he took two-time finalist Dominic Thiem the distance.

He is clearly more comfortable on the clay, but showed in his first-round win against Dominik Koepfer that he can adapt to hard courts. However, this is a matchup that doesn’t do him any favours. The two met earlier this year in Marseille, with Sinner winning comfortably in straight sets. Expect a similar result here, with the Italian possessing too much firepower for Gaston to live with.

Prediction: Sinner in 2
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Lloyd Harris vs Roberto Bautista Agut

Head-to-head: first meeting

Lloyd Harris comes into this tournament fresh from the best week of his career so far. The South African made the final in Dubai, where he lost to Aslan Karatsev in straight sets. Along the way he beat Thiem, Filip Krajinovic, Kei Nishikori and Denis Shapovalov. Ordinarily a run like that is enough to earn a title, but it wasn’t to be for Harris, who looked to be nursing an injury during the final. Nonetheless, after a career-best week and at a career high ranking of #52, Harris should be in great spirits in Miami.

His big serve and potent forehand will suit the slow hard courts well and he could prove a tricky customer once again. But Roberto Bautista Agut, after a slow start to the season, looks to be in similarly good form, having made the final in Qatar earlier this month. The Spaniard lost out to an inspired Basilashvili there, but if he can maintain the level he displayed there, he could be in contention to go all the way in Miami.

Particularly in the noticeable absence of some star names at the ATP Miami Open. Bautista Agut hits a hard, flat forehand that should pay dividends in Miami. If he can find it early and often, he should be able to navigate his way through a tricky first match here. It will be close if Harris plays as well as he has done over the last week or so, but expect Bautista Agut to have enough to account for the South African.

Prediction: Bautista Agut in 3

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