ATP Washington Day 3 Predictions Including Grigor Dimitrov vs Ilya Ivashka

Ilya Ivashka in action ahead of the ATP Washington Open.

With a host of star names set to take the court, there should be plenty of entertaining tennis on day three at the ATP Washington Open. There are 11 matches on the slate in D.C. and, as ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match, including Rafael Nadal vs Jack Sock and Kei Nishikori vs Alexander Bublik. But who will book their place in the third round?

ATP Washington Day 3 Predictions

Steve Johnson vs Alex de Minaur

Head-to-head: Johnson 2-2 de Minaur

Steve Johnson is not the force that he once was, but the American has been ranked as high as world #21 for a reason. He still covers the court well and his forehand is a weapon worthy of respect. That he struggles to come over his backhand is a serious limitation, but it is one that he can manage well thanks to the bite he gets when slicing his backhand. That combination proved too much for Ramkumar Ramanathan to handle in the first round, with Johnson picking up a 6-3 7-6 win.

He also got the better of Alex de Minaur in their last meeting having edged out the Australian in five sets at Wimbledon in 2019. But that was two years ago and de Minaur has unquestionably improved in the interim. He arrives in Washington ranked 18th in the world and is seeded third this week. Having missed the Olympics after testing positive for Covid-19, there is some uncertainty over where his game is at, but if de Minaur plays anything like his best tennis he should have the beating of Johnson.

Prediction: de Minaur in 3
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Reilly Opelka vs Daniel Elahi Galan

Head-to-head: first meeting

Daniel Elahi Galan has been playing some excellent tennis lately. He reached the second round at Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, before dismissing Tommy Paul – who has a fine record at the ATP Washington Open – in straight sets to win his opener this week. The Colombian’s reward for that victory is a shot at the big-serving world #36 Reilly Opelka. The American enjoyed a first-round bye as the eighth seed in Washington.

Opelka struggled on the grass, losing in the first round at both Queen’s Club and Wimbledon, but he enjoyed a productive run on the clay and has looked more at home since returning to hard courts. He lost 6-7 7-6 6-7 in the second round in Atlanta to Taylor Fritz last time out, but may well like his chances of improving on that against Galan. The Colombian should not be underestimated, Paul can attest to that, but Opelka’s booming serve should be rewarded in Washington and he can generate plenty of power off the ground as well.

Prediction: Opelka in 2
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Jannik Sinner vs Emil Ruusuvuori

Head-to-head: Sinner 1-1 Ruusuvuori

One suspects that this rivalry will continue to grow over the coming years. It is Jannik Sinner who has made the more impressive start to life on the ATP Tour, with the Italian already a quarterfinalist at the French Open with a career-high ranking of world #17. Emil Ruusuvuori, three years the Italian’s senior, has not yet broken into the world’s top 50. He is also looking for his first ATP title, whereas Sinner has already collected won two tour-level events, including earlier this year at the ATP Great Ocean Road Open in Melbourne.

He also beat Ruusuvuori in comprehensive fashion en route to the final in Miami. But it is not all doom and gloom for the Finn. Sinner is a rather streaky player and of late he has not looked particularly impressive. Indeed, he has not won a match since the French Open and crashed out to Christopher O’Connell last time out in Atlanta. Ruusuvuori, in contrast, reached the semifinals. He looks at home in these conditions and should be well-placed to take advantage of Sinner’s indifferent form.

Prediction: Ruusuvuori in 3
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Grigor Dimitrov vs Ilya Ivashka

Head-to-head: Dimitrov 1-0 Ivashka

This should be an entertaining match. Ilya Ivashka has been in fine form of late, with the Belarusian reaching the second week at a Major for the first time at Wimbledon before making the third round at the Tokyo Olympics. He backed that up by beating his countryman Egor Gerasimov in straight sets in the first round at the ATP Washington Open. Grigor Dimitrov, meanwhile, has spent much of this season struggling for fitness.

The Bulgarian remains an immensely gifted player, but there has been relatively little for those in his camp to celebrate this season. Since a back injury in the quarterfinals derailed his challenge at the Australian Open, he has won back-to-back matches twice and had to retire when two sets to one up in the first round at the French Open. If he were fully match sharp, he would probably stand a good chance of beating Ivashka. He did just that in Geneva after all. But with Ivashka in such good form and Dimitrov so long out of action, don’t expect a repeat of that result.

Prediction: Ivashka in 2

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