ATP Eastbourne Day 3 Predictions Including Gael Monfils vs Max Purcell

Gael Monfils

After a wet and windy start to the week, main draw action is now fully underway in Eastbourne. With this being the final chance for players to prepare for Wimbledon, it promises to be an interesting week of grass court tennis. Day 3 of ATP Eastbourne will see all eight second-round matches. Among the players featuring in Wednesday’s action are #1 seed Gael Monfils, who is looking to play himself back into form, following a difficult spell on the tour for the Frenchman post-lockdown. I predict all of Wednesday’s matches. Four are in this article, and four in a separate article.

ATP Eastbourne Day 3 Predictions

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina vs Vasek Pospisil

Head to Head: First Meeting

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina was the 2017 Junior Wimbledon Champion, however the Spaniard is yet to prove himself on the surface at ATP level. After a highly successful clay-court season, which saw Davidovich Fokina record his first Top 10 win on the ATP Tour in Monte Carlo against Matteo Berrettini and saw him reach his first grand slam quarterfinal at Roland Garros, the Spaniard heads into the grass court season in a rich vein of form and has the attributes to succeed on this surface, possessing powerful groundstrokes.

Vasek Pospisil has had a difficult season and has struggled to find form. However, the Canadian has enjoyed the biggest success of his career on this surface, winning the Wimbledon Mens Doubles title with Jack Sock in 2014 and reaching the quarterfinals in singles the following year. It is fair to say that the Canadian’s game is tailor made for this surface, with Pospisil’s net skills and big serve proving difficult to handle for any opponent.

I think this match is will be decided by how well the Spaniard serves. Davidovich-Fokina has had his struggles in holding serve, and even though the grass will give him more purchase and pace on his first serve, his motion can break down at times. I think Pospisil will be able to exploit this and impose himself at the net, and I think he will get the upset in three sets.
Prediction: Pospisil in 3

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Ilya Ivashka vs Alexei Popyrin

Head to Head: First Meeting

This is a battle between two big servers and I am not expecting too many long rallies in this match. The Australian has enjoyed a breakthrough year on the ATP Tour, winning his first ATP Title in Singapore early in the season. Popyrin also showed his quality at Roland Garros, producing a fine performance against Rafael Nadal in the opening round and the Australian should have won the third set, however he missed a routine overhead. Popyrin recorded his first win of the grass court season against Norbert Gombos in the opening round. The big weapons he possesses, particularly his serve and forehand, make him a very dangerous opponent to face on grass.

Ilya Ivashka has been playing some of the best tennis of his career this season, particularly during the clay court season. The Belarusian recorded impressive wins over Alejandro Davidovich-Fokina in Marbella and Alexander Zverev in Munich and he also took a set off Rafael Nadal in Barcelona. Ivashka has also successfully came through qualifying at every grass court tour event this season, so he has recorded a lot of wins on this surface.

However, I think the Australian is the better player under pressure, and I think this will see him record the win in two tight sets.
Prediction: Popyrin in 2

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Alexander Bublik vs Egor Gerasimov

Head to Head: First Meeting

Alexander Bublik is one of the most entertaining players to watch on the ATP Tour, with the Kazakh possessing a highly offensive all-court game as well as being highly unpredictable, with his ability to produce underarm serves. Bublik reached the final of the mens doubles at Roland Garros with Andrey Golubev and reached his first ATP final in Singapore earlier in the season. Last week Bublik defeated Jeremy Chardy in the opening round of Queens before losing to Jack Draper, a match that showcased the Kazakh’s need to improve his focus and attitude at times on court. In the opening round, Bublik defeated Mikhail Kukushkin and his unpredictability always makes him a formidable player.

Egor Gerasimov’s best result of the season came on the indoor courts of Lyon, where he defeated Andy Murray, Aljaz Bedene and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina en route to the semifinals before losing to David Goffin. However, outside of this, the Belarusian has struggled to produce consistent results on tour. However, an opening round win over Jo Wilfred Tsonga will give him much needed confidence on the grass following an opening round defeat to Lukas Lacko in Halle last week.

I think Bublik will have to much power for Gerasimov and will record a straight sets win.
Prediction: Bublik in 2

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Gael Monfils vs Max Purcell

Head to Head: First Meeting

Gael Monfils has openly admitted to his struggles in form in an emotional press conference after his opening round defeat at the Australian Open to Emil Ruusuvuori. Since then, Monfils has managed to win matches. However, he has struggled to produce a consistent run of form, with his best result of the season an opening round win over Albert Ramos Vinolas in front of his home crowd at Roland Garros. An opening round defeat to Lloyd Harris in Halle last week means the Frenchman heads into Eastbourne looking for his first grass court win of the season.

Max Purcell is also a player struggling for form, having not won many matches at any level in singles this season. The Australian has mainly played doubles this year and has reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open and Queens. Purcell got into the main-draw as a lucky loser and took full advantage, defeating James Duckworth in a tough three set battle in the opening round.

I think the Frenchman’s experience will prove to be vital in this match, and I think he will get the win in two sets.
Prediction: Monfils in 2

Main Photo from Getty.


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