After the final clay Masters event of the year ending in Madrid, we now move our attention to some of the remaining smaller clay events before Roland Garros in a few weeks. This week sees the return of 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer and former US Open champion Marin Cilic. We also predict the rest of Monday’s matches in a separate article.
ATP Geneva Day 2 Predictions
Adrian Mannarino vs Arthur Cazaux
It’s not everyday you get a man ranked outside the top 500 playing a main draw ATP event but that’s exactly what we have here in Frenchman Cazaux. Despite being ranked so low in the rankings, the 18-year-old managed a huge win over current world #67 Sebastian Korda in straight sets in the first qualifying round in Madrid, so it’s pretty evident the kid can play ball. If anything, Mannarino is also more or less one of the nicer first round matchups. Despite being ranked inside the Top 40, the older Frenchman has lost his last four matches on tour and eight of his last ten. There’s a lot more than meets the eye here, and this could be closer than most people imagine. Can the 18-year-old pull off a huge upset? I think he can.
Prediction: Cazaux in 3
Salvatore Caruso vs Tennys Sandgren
Head-to-head: Caruso 2-0
A man who’s lost his last five matches against a guy who’s lost his last three. It’s not exactly the most glamorous match on paper, with both men struggling for wins this whole year. On this surface, however, there’s no doubt Caruso is the better of the two, highlighted by a previous win last year in Rome. Sandgren’s assets in his serve and forehand are heavily neutralized on this surface, so it’s hard to see him getting his first win of his 2021 clay court season here.
Prediction: Caruso in 2
Dominik Koepfer vs Benoit Paire
Where to start with Benoit Paire, from saying he didn’t want to play tennis this year and was only playing for prize money, it’s a big wonder what Frenchman will show up in Switzerland this week. At the end of the day the world #35 has won just three of his last 22 matches, that’s no exaggeration, if it wasn’t for the COVID-19 ranking system he would comfortably be ranked outside of the top 100. Purely on that alone I can’t see how Koepfer loses this by just playing anywhere close to his usual level.
Prediction: Koepfer in 2
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