ATP Hamburg Day 1 Predictions Including Benoit Paire vs Ricardas Berankis

Ricardas Berankis in action ahead of the ATP Cologne Indoors
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Main draw action starts on Monday at the 2021 ATP Hamburg European Open, and there will be four singles matches on Center Court to kick off the week. Benoit Paire takes on Ricardas Berankis to try to somehow turn his disastrous season around, while the 37-year-old Philipp Kohlschreiber will try to keep playing inspired tennis that saw him impress at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Who do you think will advance?

ATP Hamburg Day 1 Predictions

Nicola Kuhn vs Thiago Seyboth Wild

Head-to-head: First meeting

An interesting battle between two players who were once halted as among the most talented of their generation. Thiago Seyboth Wild probably has to still be regarded as one, although he rarely reminds the audience of the player who won the title at Santiago out of nowhere last year. The Brazilian has a deadly forehand but seems to be constantly lacking confidence. He came to Hamburg with a 14-20 win/loss record this season, but managed to impress a bit in the qualifying campaign, not losing a set and scoring a tough win over Steven Diez.

That should give him a nice advantage over Nicola Kuhn, especially as the Spaniard is 3-9 for the year on clay courts. Last week at the Braunschweig Challenger, he took out Mischa Zverev but was then sent off by the eventual runner-up Henri Laaksonen in straight sets. They have never played each other, but the higher ceiling and some rhythm coming from the qualies should let Seyboth Wild get off to a good start in this possible rivalry of the future.
Prediction: Seyboth Wild in 2

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Corentin Moutet vs Sebastian Baez

Head-to-head: First meeting

Sebastian Baez has been just brilliant on clay this season, winning three Challenger titles and piling up 28 wins. There are concerns whether the Argentinian can easily translate that to the main tour though, especially due to his lack of attacking weaponry. His final round of qualifying loss to Juan Pablo Varillas here included three failed attempts to serve out the match, which speaks to another flaw of his game–a weak serve. Baez is a fantastic counter-puncher but he might get easily overpowered by some of the higher-ranked opponents he will face soon.

Luckily for him, Corentin Moutet is not one of them. But he’s still a player of a quality that Baez is not exactly used to yet. His weird style might frustrate the Argentinian, who isn’t exactly content whenever he has to generate pace by himself. This is a very tough match to predict, especially as Moutet’s form has been mercurial. He peaked at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown exhibition, but other than that it’s been a bit of a roller coaster. This is an opponent Baez might just beat, especially if the Frenchman’s fragile mentality will make him throw tantrums again.
Prediction: Baez in 3

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Philipp Kohlschreiber vs Jaume Munar

Head-to-head: First meeting

Philipp Kohlschreiber started his season in April. The very beginning of it was so bad that you wouldn’t believe what happened next. In a win over Aslan Karatsev at Roland Garros, or the five-setter against eventual semifinalist Denis Shapovalov at Wimbledon, the 37-year-old showcased that he can still play tennis at a very high level. Kohlschreiber would often peak in Germany too, reaching eleven of his eighteen ATP finals in his home country. However, Hamburg was never his best event and the veteran actually carries a negative win rate in this tournament.

Jaume Munar is having a great campaign this year, highlighted by a runner-up finish at Marbella and a Challenger title at Antalya. The Spaniard has his limitations, though, with a very tentative playing style that puts a lot of control in the hands of the opponent. He’s lost his last three matches, although the past two came on grass, which is definitely not the surface for his game. Could this little streak hamper his momentum? Possibly. With Kohlschreiber playing quite well and getting inspired results of late, the German has a good chance to pull off a slight upset here.
Prediction: Kohlschreiber in 3

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Benoit Paire vs Ricardas Berankis

Head-to-head: First meeting

Benoit Paire is a fun player in his peak, but he’s clearly not having fun right now. The Frenchman won just three matches this season, while losing a total of eighteen times. Last week, he decided to grab a wild card for a Challenger event in Braunschweig. Even that couldn’t help him as he lost in the second round to World No. 264 Vit Kopriva. The Czech is rather underrated, but it’s still a dreadful loss for someone with Paire’s list of achievements. It allowed him to earn some money in the German Bundesliga last week, but both his matches were straight-set losses to Jan-Lennard Struff (not embarrassing at all), and Teymuraz Gabashvili (definitely sort of embarrassing, but that’s been Paire’s form for a while now).

Ricardas Berankis rarely plays his best on clay, but he actually performed quite well this season, including a third-round appearance at Roland Garros (lost to Novak Djokovic). The Lithuanian is so much more reliable and solid than Paire, though, and won’t go below a certain level. His opponent has been giving away wins for a while now, losing many points basically for free on either double faults or wild unforced errors. You never really know which Paire is going to show up. But recently, more often than not, it hasn’t been the crazy talented three-time ATP Tour champion.
Prediction: Berankis in 2

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