ATP Madrid Day 2 Predictions including Ugo Humbert vs Aslan Karatsev

Aslan Karatsev in action ahead of the ATP Madrid Open.

The Caja Magica will be attempting to cast it’s spell on us all for the ATP Madrid Open over the next week. Day two is set to be a busy one in the Spanish capital, with ten men’s singles matches on the slate. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate. But who will reach the second round in Madrid?

In addition to this article, we split the other matches between two more articles. One features Fabio Fognini vs Carlos Taberner, and the other features Reilly Opelka vs Dominik Koepfer.

ATP Madrid Open Day 2 Predictions

Cristian Garin vs Fernando Verdasco

Head-to-head: Garin 1-0 Verdasco

The Spanish former-world #7 appears to be on a bit of a semi-retirement benefit year. He has played only two matches so far this season and lost both of them. That gives some indication as to the state that Fernando Verdasco’s game is in. His forehand, long his signature weapon, has been misfiring and he has looked half a step slow. He certainly looked like a shadow of his former-self in losing 3-6 3-6 to Albert Ramos Vinolas in the first round in Munich last week.

He does have a good record at the ATP Madrid Open, but he has received a tough first-round draw here with Cristian Garin, in contrast to Verdasco, in decent enough form. The Chilean, who is probably not far off the top ten clay courters in the world, has not been at his very best so far in 2021, but it would nonetheless be a significant surprise if he cannot withstand whatever mercurial magic Verdasco can summon on home turf. Expect Garin to prove too strong for the veteran here.

Prediction: Garin in 3
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Jeremy Chardy vs Daniel Evans

Head-to-head: Chardy 3-2 Evans

This rivalry has seen something of a turnaround this year. The Frenchman came into 2021 leading this head-to-head 3-0 but Dan Evans has beaten the Frenchman twice over the last few months, albeit on hard courts. It might have been tempting to think that the change of surface would help Jeremy Chardy, but Evans showed what he is capable of on the red dirt by reaching the semifinals at the ATP Monte Carlo Masters.

Chardy, to his credit, has actually been enjoying something of a late career revival this season, picking up some solid wins. But he rarely gets wins against players ranked towards the top of the game. His shortcomings, namely an all too often errant backhand and a serve that bleeds double faults, may well be exposed once again by Evans, particularly if the Briton can rediscover the sort of tennis he played in Monte Carlo. Expect Evans to make a hat-trick of wins in 2021.

Prediction: Evans in 3
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Ugo Humbert vs Aslan Karatsev

Head-to-head: first meeting

Both men have tough serves to break on their day and the conditions in Madrid could suit their game with the high altitude generally helping big servers. However, when one begins to assess current form it is Aslan Karatsev who has the clear advantage. Karatsev, a semifinalist at the Australian Open earlier this year and the runner-up in Belgrade, will power down his serves and is a competent enough player moving forwards to be able to finish points.

His consistency has him lying fifth in the race to London and he hasn’t lost in the opening round in his last seven tournaments. Humbert is not without quality, with the Frenchman amongst the best movers in the men’s game, But it is hard to see him withstanding the sort of power that Karatsev can bring to bear. Expect the Russian’s run of reaching at least the second round to continue here.

Prediction: Karatsev in 2

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