The ATP Estoril Open has begun, seeing a number of well fought matches taking place on the first day. More of the top players competing for the title get their campaigns under way on Day 2, and we will be treated with plenty of thrilling match-ups. As ever, we here at Last Word on Tennis will be discussing our picks on who will be progressing to the next round. So, who will emerge victorious? We also predict the rest of the day’s matches in a separate article.
ATP Estoril Day 2 Predictions
Richard Gasquet vs Juan Ignacio Londero
Head-to-head: Londero 2 – 1 Gasquet
An interesting match here. Londero leads the head-to-head, winning both of their clashes on clay. Gasquet has never managed to shine particularly well on clay, but his breath-taking backhand will still cause damage to anyone he meets. This said, Londero has a few weapons of his own. Neither player is in good form right now, however, so it’s tough to predict the outcome of this.
Londero does favor the surface, which will help him, but it’s difficult to see him produce some of the tennis we saw from him a few years ago. Gasquet being towards the last years of his career and out of form doesn’t bode well for him either, so it really comes down to whoever plays better on the surface, so Londero takes this one in a close match.
Prediction: Londero in 3
Gilles Simon vs Pierre-Hughes Herbert
Head-to-head: Simon 1 – Herbert 1
Two of the long lasting Frenchman on the tour, with very different playstyles. Herbert’s serve and volley based game earnt him lots of success on the doubles circuit, and he’s become an exceptional singles player as time has gone on. In contrast, Simon’s game is very different. He will happily stand back and trade balls for hours if needs be, grinding his opponents down to the last shot.
The clash of styles will be very interesting to watch on this surface. While many would favour the player who grinds better than the other, Herbert’s game is no longer just about serving and volleying. He’s adapted his game well and will certainly cause Simon problems, who can’t grind out rallies and matches like he used to. Expect a very tough encounter that could really go either way, but Herbert just about takes it.
Prediction: Herbert in 3
Fernando Verdasco vs Albert Ramos-Vinolas
Head-to-head: Verdasco 5 – 4 Ramos-Vinolas
Two Spanish veterans battling on clay is always a sight to see. To go with this, both players are very different yet still have had many good performances on the surface. Verdasco has been lighting up the tour for many years with his pummelling forehand and brutal serve. His power may not quite be what it once was, but he’s still an absolute force.
Ramos-Vinolas on the other hand is a classic clay court grinder, who doesn’t possess major weapons like Verdasco does. He’s excellent at keeping himself in rallies and is a tough guy to put away. Unsurprisingly, their head-to-head is very tight, If Ramos-Vinolas can neutralize Verdasco’s power then he could make things very difficult. A tight encounter will certainly ensue, but Verdasco should be able to put him away in the end.
Prediction: Verdasco in 3
Main Photo from Getty.