After the drama of Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and then the Olympic Games, we finally have another ATP Masters event upon us, this time in Toronto. Two-time defending champion Rafael Nadal headlines the field, alongside top seed Daniil Medvedev. Day 1 features first round matches with no seeds starting their campaigns just yet. We predict all the matches, split between this and a separate article.
ATP Toronto Day 1 Predictions
Vasek Pospisil vs Tommy Paul
A tale of two stories this year: Vasek Pospisil, not the player he was a few years ago, opposed to Tommy Paul–now ranked inside the top 60 and possibly on his way to getting far higher in the rankings. The Canadian has enjoyed great results here in the past including a semi-final but with three losses in his last four matches with all losses in straight sets there the signs aren’t looking positive for a big run here. It was much the same for the American but with two fairly comfortably qualifying wins I expect him to build off those and get the win here.
Prediction: Paul in 3
Lloyd Harris vs Brayden Schnur
As you all know, Lloyd Harris stunned the tennis world last week by beating World #3 Rafael Nadal but unfortunately could not back it up, with a lackluster performance against Kei Nishikori. In his way this time is Canadian qualifier Schnur who throughout his career has struggled to play regular ATP events spending most of his time on the Challenger circuit. Harris, having the year of his career thus far and now a top 50 player should get this done fairly routinely and set up a mouth watering rematch between himself and the great Spaniard in the second round.
Prediction: Harris in 2
Fabio Fognini vs Jan-Lennard Struff
Jan-Lennard Struff is somewhat of a strange player, whilst possessing so many weapons he’s found himself with some good wins this season, such as against Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev but also poor losses against the likes of Laslo Djer and Adrian Mannarino, just in the past few months alone. In his way now is Italian Fabio Fognini who at 34 years old is slowly dropping down the rankings. On their day both these men can be unplayable, but just based on their forms this year I expect Struff to serve huge and keep Fognini at bay.
Prediction: Struff in 2
Marin Cilic vs Albert Ramos-Vinolas
Head-to-head: Cilic 4-3
Ever since Roland Garros, Marin Cilic has been somewhat of his old self, with a title win and a fairly decent run at Wimbledon it’s something to build off before he returns to the US Open in a few weeks, a tournament he won back in 2014. In fairness, Ramos-Vinolas has had a really good year but every good result he’s had has been on the red dirt. Cilic’s last three wins against the Spaniard have all come on hardcourts and I expect it to be no different here. Cilic’s serve and big groundstrokes will have Ramos-Vinolas scrambling all over the court and unlike on the clay, he won’t be able to save himself in most rallies.
Prediction: Cilic in 2
Main Photo from Getty.