Day 1 of the ATP Generali Open in Kitzbuhel kicks off on Sunday. There may be Olympic tennis in Tokyo, but there’s still play on the world tours. Some top players are playing in Kitzbuhel (clay) and Atlanta (hard courts) this week as they prepare for the rest of their seasons. Who has the inside position on Day 1?
ATP Kitzbuhel Day 1 Predictions
Jaume Munar vs Jozef Kovalik
Munar’s game is still way too passive to be a threat to better players, but he’s now consistent and capable enough that it gets him through matches against lower-ranked players. He should be able to frustrate Kovalik enough to win without trouble.
Prediction: Munar in 2
Thiago Seyboth Wild vs Carlos Taberner
I like this matchup. Both of these young guns have serious potential, though Seyboth Wild has cooled down a bit since he burst onto tour. Taberner hasn’t been playing particularly well recently, though.
Prediction: Seyboth Wild in 2
Lucas Pouille vs Pedro Martinez
Pouille is definitely a better player, but he hasn’t done much noteworthy in quite a while. Martinez, meanwhile, has very quietly been picking up some impressive wins on the clay. Don’t be surprised to see a mini-upset here.
Prediction: Martinez in 3
Jiri Vesely vs Ernests Gulbis
Books can be written about the prodigious waste of talent that has been Gulbis’ professional career. He has never beaten Vesely, and he’s not playing like he belongs in the Top 200 recently–though he was decent in qualifying for this tournament.
Prediction: Vesely in 2
Pablo Cuevas vs Mikael Ymer
Mikael Ymer is rapidly becoming one of my favorite players to watch on tour. His all-court game is unique and yet classic at the same time. He has taken a leap this year and is finally competing at a much higher level. Expect that to continue, even against a likely-superior player like Cuevas. Will that be enough to get the win? Perhaps not. But expect this match to be very tight.
Prediction: Ymer in 3
Main Photo from Getty.