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ATP Gstaad Day 1 Predictions Including Benoit Paire vs Jozef Kovalik

Mikael Ymer in action ahead of the ATP Gstaad Open.

The ATP Gstaad Open starts on Monday. It promises to be an entertaining tournament with the top four seeds Denis Shapovalov, Roberto Bautista Agut, Casper Ruud, and Cristian Garin. They will join the fray later in the week, but on day one twelve players will battle for a spot in the second round and we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for all six matches, including Feliciano Lopez vs Marc-Andrea Huesler. But who will reach the second round?

ATP Gstaad Day 1 Predictions

Marc Polmans vs Sandro Ehrat

Head-to-head: first meeting

Sandro Ehrat is a 30-year-old Swiss currently ranked 397th in the world. He competes principally on the ITF Tour and rarely participates in tournaments outside Europe. But after a spirited performance in the qualifying rounds, Ehrat has entered the main draw of an ATP 250 for the first time in many years and he will no doubt be fired up in the hope of collecting his second tour-level win.

The Australian Marc Polmans is a consistent presence on the ATP Challenger Tour, with one title at that level to his name. But though their past results indicate that Polmans is the better player of the two, Ehrat will surely be ready to challenge him on home turf. Still, Polmans has already collected wins at the Majors and has far more experience at this level than Ehrat. Expect him to come out on top due to that experience and his superior gameplay.

Prediction: Polmans in 2
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Benoit Paire vs Jozef Kovalik

Head-to-head: Paire 1-0 Kovalik

Benoit Paire showed his finesse in his match against Juan Pablo Varillas at the ATP Hamburg Open. He effortlessly hit winners throughout the match that reminded us of his old ability and charm. He did fall in the second round in three sets, despite having four match points on serve, but it was still a comparatively promising performance from the Frenchman. Paire also leads the head-to-head against his first-round opponent in Gstaad, Jozef Kovalik, having won their only previous match.

Kovalik hasn’t been firing of late, having suffered losses to players ranked outside the top 150 in the last three weeks. Those recent results suggest that he has a lot to improve before he can challenge a player of Paire’s quality. If Paire keeps his composure, not always his strong suit, this should be a relatively easy match for him.

Prediction: Paire in 2
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Mikael Ymer vs Alex Molcan

Head-to-head: first meeting

Mikael Ymer made third-round appearances at the Australian Open and the French Open this season despite playing the majority of his tennis at Challenger-level. He does look increasingly at home at the highest-level, however. The Swede has good quality groundstrokes and is a great defensive player on clay. His run to the third round at the French Open in particular showcased his ability to hang on in difficult moments.

Alex Molcan, meanwhile, has recently played two finals on clay, one at a Challenger and another on the ATP Tour in Belgrade, where he made world #1 Novak Djokovic work for the win. However, although he performed creditably in that match, he doesn’t have any significant results against a top-ranked player. In short, Molcan isn’t at the level of Ymer. It may be a hard-fought match, but Ymer should prevail.

Prediction: Ymer in 3

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