There is lots to look forward to on the second day of the 2021 Andalucia Open. Young Spanish prodigy Carlos Alcaraz has an opener that doesn’t have to be that easy, while Alejandro Davidovich Fokina will be afraid of Damir Dzumhur channeling some of his magic of the past. We also predict the day’s other four matches. Who do you think will advance?
ATP Marbella Day 2 Predictions
Nikola Milojevic vs Carlos Alcaraz
Head-to-head: First meeting
He’s touted as the future World No. 1, but Carlos Alcaraz will have to be really careful here. The 17-year-old made his breakthrough on the Challenger Tour on clay last season but so far he has only played two matches on his favorite surface in 2021. Meanwhile, Nikola Milojevic is enjoying a very solid season with a title at Zadar Challenger two weeks ago. The Serbian has also advanced through the qualifying campaign and should be in a much better rhythm. Alcaraz has the higher upside but if his forehand is misfiring, Milojevic is good enough to clean up. A potential banana skin for the wunderkind.
Prediction: Alcaraz in 3
Bernabe Zapata Miralles vs Mario Vilella Martinez
Head-to-head: Zapata Miralles 1-0
An all-Spanish matchup that will likely be really physical. Bernabe Zapata Miralles should be the one leading the play with his superior forehand but Mario Vilella Martinez is really good at grinding out tough wins. Both have come through the qualifying in great fashion although Zapata Miralles’ comfortable wins over Evgeny Donskoy and Ernests Gulbis give him the slight edge there. It looks like the clay in Marbella can benefit aggressive playstyles and maybe that’s the detail that can help him to succeed as well.
Prediction: Zapata Miralles in 3
Gianluca Mager vs Mikhail Kukushkin
Head-to-head: Kukushkin 1-0
Having won a Challenger event at this venue last week, Gianluca Mager will be riding very high on confidence here. The Italian can be a bit of a slow-starter (lost the opening set in three matches in that run) but once he finds his timing, the power game that he brings to the clay can be a nightmare to face. Mikhail Kukushkin owns a straightforward head-to-head win from four years ago but the Italian has made a lot of progress since then. On top of that, this is the Kazakh’s worst surface.
Prediction: Mager in 2
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina vs Damir Dzumhur
Head-to-head: Davidovich Fokina 1-0
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina owns an easy enough win from Cologne last year, can this matchup be any different on clay? Damir Dzumhur’s grit and determination are real assets that could help him make this close. He doesn’t really have many tools to impose his own terms on the youngster though and once given the space to utilize it, Davidovich Fokina’s variety can be quite devastating. The 21-year-old will also be playing in his home country and the support from the crowd will be a good thing to have in the key moments.
Prediction: Davidovich Fokina in 2
Main Photo from Getty.