Tokyo Olympics Day 2 Men’s Predictions Including Kei Nishikori vs Andrey Rublev

Mikhail Kukushkin in action ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

There should be plenty of entertaining action on day two at the Tokyo Olympics, with 16 intriguing first-round matches on the slate in the Japanese capital. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every scheduled match including Andy Murray vs Felix Auger-Aliassime, Alexander Zverev vs Lu Yen-hsun and Philipp Kohlschreiber vs Stefanos Tsitsipas. But who will book their place in the second round?

Tokyo Olympics Day 2 Predictions

Kei Nishikori vs Andrey Rublev

Jim: Kei Nishikori will doubtless want to perform on home soil, but this is a very tough draw for the Japanese and the absence of fans is also a blow. Andrey Rublev is in the midst of another very impressive season, even if his momentum has cooled slightly of late, and his powerful groundstrokes should be rewarded in the relatively quick conditions in Tokyo.

Prediction: Rublev in 2

Yesh: What an unfortunate draw for Kei Nishikori in his home Olympics. Especially with no crowd, this could be rough. Rublev can be mercurial but is very dangerous when he is on. An upset isn’t impossible, but don’t expect it.

Prediction: Rublev in 3

Damian: You should never count out Nishikori when he’s playing for Japan and he definitely proved it in Rio de Janeiro. Can he repeat that five years later? He’s miles away from that form and with a nightmare of an opening draw, it seems borderline impossible.

Prediction: Rublev in 3
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Dominik Koepfer vs Facundo Bagnis

Jim: Long baseline rallies will almost certainly be the order of the day here. But it is surely Dominik Koepfer who is the favourite coming into this match. Both men are more at home on the clay than on hard courts, but Koepfer has a far better record on hard courts than Facundo Bagnis. The German should have the edge here.

Prediction: Koepfer in 2

Yesh: Koepfer is slowly but steadily (and at times not so slowly) improving, and might finally begin to make a mark on Tour. He should win this.

Prediction: Koepfer in 2

Damian: Bagnis played just four matches off clay this season, winning just one of them. For as great as his 2021 campaign has been, he shouldn’t be of much danger to Koepfer on this particular surface.

Prediction: Koepfer in 2
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Daniel Elahi Galan vs Mohamed Safwat

Jim: This feels like a big opportunity for Mohamed Safwat to pick up a win on a big stage. The Egyptian has spent the vast majority of his career playing at Futures and Challenger level, but he has been handed a kind draw here with Daniel Elahi Galan far more comfortable on the clay than the fast hard courts in Tokyo. Expect Safwat to take advantage.

Prediction: Safwat in 3

Yesh: A very fortunate draw for each, as there aren’t many men in this draw that either could beat. Should be a tight match, but the Colombian Galan might just have the edge.

Prediction: Galan in 3

Damian: Safwat is having an awful season, winning consecutive matches just once (in January). Unless there’s some rapid improvement, even a clay-court specialist like Galan should be able to take him out quite handily.

Prediction: Galan in 2
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Mikhail Kukushkin vs Federico Coria

Jim: Mikhail Kukushkin is not the force he once was, but this looks like a winnable match for him. Federico Coria has established himself as a regular at tour-level clay-court tournaments, but his successes away from the clay have been few and far between.

Prediction: Kukushkin in 2

Yesh: Coria has been playing on clay until since Wimbledon, which could be a problem when transitioning to the hard courts at the Tokyo Olympics. Kukushkin is more also comfortable than his opponent on hard courts, which could make the difference.

Prediction: Kukushkin in 3

Damian: Coria has been making finals with impressive consistency these past few weeks, but all of these results came on his favorite clay. However, with Kukushkin winning just 6 out of 22 matches this year, the Argentinian might get a chance to use that confidence to score a slight upset.

Prediction: Coria in 3

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