ATP Madrid Open Day 4 Predictions Including Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Benoit Paire

Stefanos Tsitsipas training ahead of the ATP Madrid Open.

It has been an entertaining start to the week at the ATP Madrid Open and the competition looks set to heat up ahead of day three. A number of star names are set to take to the court in the Spanish capital and, as always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the schedule, in two other articles. One features Rafael Nadal vs Carlos Alcaraz and the other features Alexander Zverev vs Kei Nishikori. But who will reach the third round?

ATP Madrid Open Day 3 Predictions

Diego Schwartzman vs Aslan Karatsev

Head-to-head: Karatsev 1-0 Schwartzman

When this pair first met earlier this season at the Australian Open, Aslan Karatsev was a relative unknown who looked to have done well to reach the third round. Diego Schwartzman, in contrast, was a Grand Slam semifinalist and the eighth seed. But the Argentine won just nine games as Karatsev swept him aside in straight-sets. Karatsev went on to reach the last four in Melbourne and he has continued to impress since, winning the title in Dubai and beating Novak Djokovic in Belgrade.

If Schwartzman underestimated his opponent in February, it seems safe to assume that he will not make the same mistake again. Particularly as the powerful Karatsev looked to be enjoying the conditions in Madrid in his 6-4 7-5 win over Ugo Humbert in the first round. That said, Schwartzman, although able on hard courts, is a different proposition on the clay. Karatsev will almost certainly have his moments in this match, but expect Schwartzman’s court-coverage to see the seventh seed into the last 16.

Prediction: Schwartzman in 3
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Cristian Garin vs Dominik Koepfer

Head-to-head: first meeting

Cristian Garin has not quite found his feet so far in 2021. That is reflected by his record of 7-6 for the season so far, one that is some way under-par for a player of his ability. That said, the 24-year-old, who is playing Madrid for the first time this season, looked more assured in his first-round dismissal of Fernando Verdasco. The Spaniard may be something of a spent force, but Garin still deserves credit for the manner of his performance in his 6-1 6-4 win.4

Dominik Koepfer, meanwhile, got his ATP Madrid Open campaign underway with a composed 6-4 6-4 win over Reilly Opelka, a player who is yet to display any real aptitude for playing on the clay. But it is hard to see the German backing that win up against Garin. Koepfer is a solid professional with few obvious weaknesses in his game, but he lacks the firepower to go toe-to-toe with Garin from the baseline and come out on top. This should be relatively routing for the world #25.

Prediction: Garin in 2
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Roberto Bautista Agut vs John Isner

Head-to-head: Isner 3-2 Bautista Agut

This match may pit a Spaniard against an American on a clay court, which all too often is a foregone conclusion, but it could well prove to be a close and competitive contest. Roberto Bautista Agut has a respectable resume on the red dirt, but he does not share many the same affinity for the surface many of his countrymen have. John Isner, meanwhile, has a game well-suited to the clay, with the slow pace giving him time to unleash off the ground and the high bounce taking the ball into his hitting zone.

The high-altitude at the ATP Madrid Open should also benefit Isner’s biggest weapon: his serve. But will that be enough to see him past Bautista Agut? If he plays as well as he did in beating Miomir Kecmanovic 6-4 7-6 Isner should certainly expect to run the Spaniard close. But Bautista Agut, though he will have to batten down the hatches at times, will not want for motivation playing on home turf and should have about enough to get past Isner, just as he did in Miami a month ago.

Prediction: Bautista Agut in 3
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Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Benoit Paire

Head-to-head: Tsitsipas 2-1 Paire

Stefanos Tsitsipas clearly enjoys playing in Spain. The Greek made his name with a run to the final in Barcelona in 2018 and he has since reached further finals in Madrid in 2019 and last week in Barcelona. He is also in excellent form, having started his clay-court season by winning the title at the ATP Monte Carlo Masters before putting together his aforementioned run to the final in the Catalan capital, where he came to within a point of beating the great Rafael Nadal.

Benoit Paire, meanwhile, will surely be glad to be back playing in front of fans, with the mercurial Frenchman having been vocal about his difficulty in finding motivation over the last 12 months. Those struggles have cost him his place in the French Olympic team, but he played well to get the better of Nikoloz Basilashvili in his Madrid opener. However, he has beaten handily by Tsitsipas in their last two meetings and it will most likely take a more complete player than Paire to stop the in-form Greek.

Prediction: Tsitsipas in 2

Main photo:
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