The eternal battle between the veterans and the up-and-coming youngsters will continue at the ATP Geneva Open on Friday, as two excellent clay-courters well in their 30s will take on a couple of still relatively fresh talents. Who will emerge on top? What do you think about the matches?
ATP Geneva Open Semifinal Predictions
Pablo Andujar vs Casper Ruud
Pablo Andujar was definitely not coming into Geneva in great form, winning consecutive matches in just one of the eight ATP main draws he had played this year. His first-round win over Jordan Thompson was extremely dominant, though, and defeating Roger Federer has to be one of the highlights of his career. A very solid win over 2020 Roland Garros boys’ singles champion Dominic Stephan Stricker then followed and the Spaniard found himself in his first tour-level semifinal since Gstaad 2019.
This will probably be the end of the road, though. The level of counter-punching that Andujar is presenting should be enough to keep the match close against Casper Ruud, but the Norwegian has truly developed into an elite clay-court player in the past year or so. His heavy topspin forehand is a weapon that will leave Andujar constantly pushed behind the baseline and struggling to get the balls back. Ruud had a comfortable victory over the Spaniard at Buenos Aires last year, losing him two years ago at Prostejov Challenger, a bit before his rate of progress sped up like crazy.
Prediction: Ruud in 3
Pablo Cuevas vs Denis Shapovalov
Head-to-head: Cuevas 1-0
What a resurgence run this has been for Pablo Cuevas. Before this week, the Uruguayan veteran won just one match in his previous three clay-court events, way below his usual standards. Despite struggling against Swiss wildcard Jakob Paul in the qualifying campaign, Cuevas managed to get on a roll in the main draw, beating the likes of Reilly Opelka and Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets.
This, however, should be his toughest challenge yet. Denis Shapovalov remains an underrated clay-courter, although it can’t be argued that that it’s the surface on which his level is at its most inconsistent. His rally tolerance gets really tested on the dirt, and an opponent like Cuevas is surely one that will ask the right questions. Can Shapovalov answer them? Based on his solid level throughout the week so far, perhaps he just might.
Prediction: Shapovalov in 3
Main Photo from Getty.