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ATP Sardinia Open Day 1 Predictions Including Tommy Paul vs Yannick Hanfmann

Aljaz Bedene in action ahead of the ATP Sardinia Open.

Following the conclusion of the ATP Miami Open, the attention of the tennis world turns to the European clay-court swing. The action on the terre battue is set to get underway in Cagliari at the ATP Sardinia Open and on day one there are four intriguing matches on the slate. But who will book their place in the second round?

ATP Sardinia Open Day One Predictions

Guido Pella vs Egor Gerasimov

Head-to-head: first match

Guido Pella’s preparations for the ATP Sardinia Open have not been ideal. The Argentine has not played competitively since losing in the first round at the Australian Open to Borna Coric in straight-sets and has just three matches under his belt so far in 2021. Egor Gerasimov, in contrast, has played rather more tennis, even if this has not been a particularly memorable season for the Belarusian, and although he is more comfortable on a hard court than the clay, he has a solid record on the red dirt.

Still, Pella should be a cut above his opponent here. Not for nothing has he reached a Grand Slam quarterfinal and been ranked as high as world #20. Gerasimov boasts plenty of power, but there are weaknesses in his game to be exploited. He often struggles to temper his power with the necessary accuracy, particularly when rushed, and can be frustrated into pulling the trigger too early. Pella will have to contend with ring rust, but this is nonetheless a match he should be winning.

Prediction: Pella in 3
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Federico Gaio vs Laslo Djere

Head-to-head: Djere 2-0 Gaio

Laslo Djere was not at his best on the hard courts in Acapulco and Miami, crashing out in the second round at both events. But the Serbian has a much better record on clay, having won two tour-level titles on the surface, including last year in Sardinia. Djere has also beaten his first-round opponent Federico Gaio in straight-sets in both of their previous meetings, on a hard court in Budapest and on the clay in Cordenons. Gaio has posted some good results of late and came through the qualifying last time out in Miami, but he has done little to suggest that he can get the better of Djere here.

Prediction: Djere in 2
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Tommy Paul vs Yannick Hanfmann

Head-to-head: Paul 1-0 Hanfmann

Americans have not typically thrived on the clay, but Tommy Paul, the eighth seed at the ATP Sardinia Open, has shown a reasonable affinity for playing on the red dirt, even taking a set off Dominic Thiem at the French Open in 2019. However, he does arrive in Cagliari having lost his last three matches, a run of defeats that includes first-round exits in Acapulco and at the ATP Miami Open. And, if he wants to snap that losing streak here, he may need to be at his best.

Yannick Hanfmann may have struggled to establish himself as a regular on the ATP Tour, but the German has reached two tour-level finals, both on the clay, and can hit through almost any opponent when he is on song. The problem Hanfmann has had throughout his career is his lack of options when he is not at his best. Up against a player in Paul who has a more varied and well-rounded game, that weakness may well be exposed once again.

Prediction: Paul in 3
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Aljaz Bedene vs Giulio Zeppieri

Head-to-head: first meeting

This should be an interesting test for Giulio Zeppieri. The Italian, who secured his spot in the main draw at the ATP Sardinia Open via a wildcard, has very little experience at this level. Indeed, this will be only his second match on the ATP Tour. It is no surprise then that he will need to overcome a significant gulf in experience if he is to get the better of Aljaz Bedene, with the Slovenian’s record of 126-139 on the ATP Tour underlining his quality and experience.

That said, the Slovenian has not been at his best so far this season. He has not yet advanced to the quarterfinals at any of the four tournaments he has played, with his best showing in 2021 a run to the third round at the ATP Great Ocean Road Open. Nonetheless, this is a match he will surely be targeting as the perfect opportunity to get his season heading in the right direction. Expect Bedene to record a comfortable win with the gap between the pair in the rankings looking too large for Zeppieri to bridge.

Prediction: Bedene in 2

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