ATP Toronto Day 2 Predictions including Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Ugo Humbert

Stefanos Tsitsipas Miami Open

As the ATP Masters 1000 action returns to Toronto after two years, a few big names have pulled out due to injuries. Still, like each season, this one also promises to be an exciting one, with Daniil Medvedev, Rafael Nadal, and Stefanos Tsitsipas the top seeds. With the alternate venues each year, it is very hard to adjust to the court speed. Toronto is usually on the slower side, and we should expect most of the top guys to find their form here and gear up for the US Open.

We predict all the matches on the day, between this and two other articles. One features Miomir Kecmanovic vs Kei Nishikori and the other features Reilly Opelka vs Grigor Dimitrov.

ATP Toronto Day 2 Predictions

Cameron Norrie vs Karen Khachanov

Head-to-head: Norrie 2-1 Khachanov

Cameron Norrie is fresh from a Citi Open semifinal performance a few days back. He is looking to be a dangerous prospect who can do well on any surface. Norrie made two finals this season- Lyon Open and Queens Club, which offer contrasting speeds. He won the title at Los Cabos where he defeated three Americans in the draw. Karen Khachanov found his form starting Wimbledon this year. Since then, he has looked like a man on a mission, as he made the Olympic final after the Quarterfinal at Wimbledon. However, it does not take an expert to tell us that Khachanov is a fast courter.

Khachanov’s serve and forehand are hard to resist, as found in Tokyo, but that is not the case on slow courts. Moreover, he has two losses to Norrie this year, both on clay; the only win came on an indoor hard court. At the Lyon Open–where Norrie made mincemeat of Khachanov in the semifinals–the surface is on the slower side. But, this surface looks perfectly balanced in terms of speed–it is not like Tokyo, but not as slow as clay. Though Norrie leads the head-to-head, Khachanov has come a long way in terms of experience, since their last meeting. If Khachanov serves well, he is safe and should make it through. But if he doesn’t, we should see Norrie prevailing. This should be a close match.
Prediction: Khachanov in 3

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John Isner vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina

Head-to-head: first meeting

Though John Isner has played few tournaments this year, it can be said that he is enjoying a second-wind of sorts. At 36 years of age, no one knows how long the giant will continue, but while he does, he will surely keep banging aces. Looking at his handful of losses on hard courts this year, we see that most of them have come against established players. Isner is still very much one of the best and will be raring to go in his first-round match. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina hasn’t shown any results on surfaces other than clay that are worthy of appreciation. He is yet to evolve and complete as a player. Also, he is highly inexperienced compared to Isner.

At the Atlanta Open where he secured the title, Isner blasted around 15-plus aces per match, despite the courts not being one of the fastest. On that account, Isner already has an upper hand against Davidovich Fokina, who is essentially a clay specialist. Still, Davidovich Fokina managed to reach the third round at Olympics, which is a sign that he is not a total failure on fast surfaces. But, it will take him a lot of effort to outlast Isner, who will not let go a chance to go as deep as he can into the draw.
Prediction: Isner in 2

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Yoshihito Nishioka vs Francis Tiafoe

Head-to-head: Nishioka 1-1 Tiafoe

Yoshihito Nishioka was going to face Sebastian Korda before his withdrawal–which seemingly gives Nishioka a better chance in the match. With Korda out, Francis Tiafoe has been handed a main draw entry as a lucky loser. Nishioka came through his qualifying matches comfortably in straight sets. It is to be seen if he can overcome Tiafoe. Francis Tiafoe fell in the final qualifying round to Emil Ruusuvuori. Nevertheless, no one needs to be reminded about his prowess–Tiafoe can’t be written off.

Nishioka and Tiafoe have met twice in their careers before, first time at a Challenger event in 2016, and then at Estoril. They have one win each, and this match will break the tie. Tiafoe is the stronger player among them, but their ranking difference is not much. Despite Tiafoe crashing out in the qualifying round, he is the favorite here.
Prediction: Tiafoe in 3

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Ugo Humbert vs Stefanos Tsitsipas

Head-to-head: Humbert 2-0 Tsitsipas

Ugo Humbert had little difficulty in overcoming his first-round opponent Lorenzo Sonego. He is a beautiful player on grass, as his performance at the Halle Open rightly shows. Thus, he was understandably good on the fast courts at Tokyo, but fell to silver-medalist Karen Khachanov. But on clay, Humbert has an embarrassing streak of five straight losses. Stefanos Tsitsipas is coming off a loss against the same opponent at the Tokyo Olympics. Before that, he had forgettable results at Wimbledon and Hamburg. He will look to regain his form here at the Rogers Cup.

Going by the trend, the Toronto courts are traditionally on the slower side. This is where Tsitsipas will get an edge, as he always benefits from slow courts, making fewer errors. Humbert did very well in his first-round match, and he should be given credit for that. But leaving all that aside, Tsitsipas is the better player on any given day. The past record and last match performance are going to boost Humbert’s confidence, and he will go all out in this match. Still, Tsitsipas should prevail. I feel that this is the match where Tsitsipas will re-discover his lost touch. A good performance in this tournament will set him up nicely for something big at the US Open.
Prediction: Tsitsipas in 3

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