Amongst the first round matches to be played on Day 2 of the ATP Barcelona Open is the battle between two of the games most entertaining players, Carlos Alcaraz and Frances Tiafoe. There is also another chance to see exciting prospect Holger Rune at Tour level, but he faces a tricky first round encounter with Albert Ramos Vinolas. Here are predictions for three of the remaining opening round matches to be played on Day 2. We also predict the day’s other matches in two other articles. One features Jeremy Chardy vs Denis Shapovalov and the other features Feliciano Lopez vs Lorenzo Musetti.
ATP Barcelona Open Day 2 Predictions
Dominik Koepfer vs Corentin Moutet
Head to Head: First Meeting
Dominik Kopefer has had an up-and-down 2021 season. The best result came in Acapulco, where he beat the likes of Cameron Norrie and Milos Raonic in a run to the semifinals. The German has plenty of firepower in his game, possessing a massive serve and forehand combination.
Corentin Moutet reached the semifinals of the Murray River Open at the start of the season. However, after a second round defeat at the Australian Open, the Frenchman has been absent on the tour, returning last week in qualifying for Monte Carlo, where he lost to Pedro Martinez.
I think this will be an interesting match. The Frenchman can struggle to control his emotions at times, and Koepfer can struggle with consistency. I think it will go to three sets, and I think the German’s firepower combined with Moutet’s lack of matches will mean that Koepfer will get the win.
Prediction: Koepfer in 3
Karen Khachanov vs Cameron Norrie
Head to Head: 1-0 Khachanov
This is a match between two players with contrasting game styles. Karen Khachanov’s natural firepower, and serve and forehand combination, allows him to dictate play against most players from the back of the court. However, since his win at the Paris Masters in 2018, he has struggled to produce that same level of tennis. The Russian’s game is perhaps not best suited to clay, as he is a flat hitter of the ball. He was beaten comfortably in the second round of Monte Carlo last week in the second round by Pablo Carreno Busta.
Cameron Norrie recorded a straight sets win over Salvatore Caruso in the opening round, building on the recent good form he has shown, with recent victories over Fabio Fognini on a run to the quarterfinals of Acapulco and Grigor Dimitrov in Miami in a run to the third round. The Brit also reached the third round of the Australian Open, and his game will be suited to clay with the high amount of topspin he puts on the ball, especially on the forehand side.
I am giving the edge to Norrie in this match, and I think he will continue his good form, recording a tight straight sets victory.
Prediction: Norrie in 2
Carlos Alcaraz vs Frances Tiafoe
Head to Head: First Meeting
Carlos Alcaraz is viewed by many as being Spanish tennis’s most exciting prospect since Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard’s best result of the season came a fortnight ago at the Andalucia Open, where he reached the semifinals, a run that included victories over Casper Ruud and Feliciano Lopez. Alcaraz has a brilliant forehand which allows him to dictate points, even on the slower clay.
Frances Tiafoe has not been in the best of form over the past couple of seasons. However, he has shown glimpses of his best form this season, taking a set off Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open. He recently recorded victories over Dan Evans and Dusan Lajovic. The American has played in two clay court events this season, in Argentina and Chile, recording wins over Facundo Bagnis and Nicolas Jarry.
This should be an intriguing match, with both players being able to produce a vast array of aggressive shot making from the back of the court. I think this will go to three sets, but with Alcaraz having more success on clay this season, I think he will get the win.
Prediction: Alcaraz in 3
Main Photo from Getty.