ATP Cincinnati Day 1 Predictions Including David Goffin vs Guido Pella

Miomir Kecmanovic in action ahead of the ATP Cincinnati Masters.

There should be plenty of entertaining tennis on day one at the ATP Cincinnati Masters. With the US Open now just weeks away, every player in the draw will be looking to build up some momentum. But who will advance and who will fall to defeat on the opening day?

ATP Cincinnati Day 1 Predictions

Kevin Anderson vs Steve Johnson (Qualifying)

Head-to-head: Anderson 4-4 Johnson

It shows the strength in depth in the men’s game at the moment that this match is taking place in the qualifying. Both men are hugely experienced, with Kevin Anderson, in particular, having one of the most impressive resumes in the draw. The South African has reached two Grand Slam finals and been ranked as high as world #5. He also won his seventh tour-level title earlier this season in Newport. Steve Johnson is not quite so decorated, but he has won four ATP titles and been close to the top 20.

He also heads into this match having found a measure of form in recent weeks, reaching the last eight in both Los Cabos and Washington, and he looked sharp in beating Emil Ruusuvuori in the first round of qualifying. Anderson too impressed in his opener, losing just six games in a 6-3 6-3 win over Lorenzo Musetti. Expect a close contest – their last three matches have gone the distance – but for Johnson, who has looked more impressive of late, to just about have the edge.

Prediction: Johnson in 3
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Carlos Alcaraz vs Ilya Ivashka (Qualifying)

Head-to-head: first meeting

This should be an entertaining match. Carlos Alcaraz unquestionably has the higher ceiling, but the Spaniard probably won’t reach that for some time yet. He is only 18 after all. But despite his youth, he has made some impressive strides at tour-level this season. He arrived at the ATP Cincinnati Masters with a 15-11 record for the year and, after beating Thiago Monteiro, he is just one win away from getting the chance to improve on that. But Ilya Ivashka has talent and ambitions of his own.

The Belarusian is in the midst of a career-best season, highlighted by his run to the second week at Wimbledon. He did make slightly hard work of his opening assignment in the qualifying, but managed to find his best tennis when he needed it to beat Mitchell Krueger 6-3 3-6 6-3. He will need to raise his level if he is to get the better of Alcaraz. But the Spaniard remains at his best on the terre battue. Ivashka has the power to impose himself here and should be able to hit his way into the main draw.

Prediction: Ivashka in 3
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David Goffin vs Guido Pella

Head-to-head: Goffin 4-1 Pella

David Goffin is one of several players who have struggled badly over the last eighteen months. The Belgian is still ranked inside the top 20, but his record of 14-13 in 2021 does not match up to that lofty ranking. But he may well be pleased to renew this rivalry, having beaten Pella in four of their five previous meetings, including in 2019 at this very event. Both men will have to contend with rustiness, with Goffin having been out of action since Halle and Pella since Wimbledon.

It’s hard to know what sort of shape their games will be in as a result. There is no doubt, however, that Goffin has the better record in these conditions. The Belgian reached the final at the ATP Cincinnati Masters in 2019. Goffin does not boast massive firepower, but he can flatten out his forehand effectively whilst his backhand up the line is also a very useful shot. Pella cannot match that sort of offensive versatility. Expect Goffin to have the edge.

Prediction: Goffin in 3
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Miomir Kecmanovic vs Benoit Paire

Head-to-head: Paire 1-0 Kecmanovic

Benoit Paire has been delivering occasional reminders of his considerable talent lately. It has hardly been a full blown resurgence from the Frenchman, but there have been some encouraging signs, including his 6-3 6-4 win over Mackenzie McDonald last week in Toronto. That being said, the American’s battling run to the final in Washington the week before surely took a lot out of his legs. Miomir Kecmanovic, meanwhile, has been in dreadful form of late. But these conditions suit his game and he should be able to work Paire over.

Prediction: Kecmanovic in 3

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