There are 14 ATP men’s singles matches on Wednesday’s schedule at the 2021 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Olympic Bronze Medalist Pablo Carreno Busta will be in action for the first time since beating Novak Djokovic in the match for third place, while the Silver Medalist from Japan, Karen Khachanov, takes on Felix Auger-Aliassime in another thrilling encounter. Who do you think will advance?
As always, we predict all of the matches, split between four articles. The other three feature Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Sebastian Korda, Hubert Hurkacz vs Andy Murray, and Daniil Medvedev vs Mackenzie McDonald.
ATP Cincinnati Day 4 Predictions
Diego Schwartzman vs Frances Tiafoe
Head-to-head: Schwartzman 1-0
Diego Schwartzman owns the sole head-to-head win, from Barcelona this year, on clay courts. The surface should play quite a big part in this matchup–the faster the better for the American, who will be able to put more pressure on his opponent’s counter-punching game. The issue is that you never quite know which Tiafoe you’re going to get. The 23-year-old showed it even in Toronto, where he lost in the qualifying draw to Emil Ruusuvori, qualified as a lucky loser, and went from a stunning win over Denis Shapovalov to getting easily ousted by Gael Monfils. The conditions in Cincinnati should be more to his liking, though. If he can play fast off the bounce and create threats from the baseline, he’s got a very good shot at a slight upset.
Prediction: Tiafoe in 3
Dominik Koepfer vs Pablo Carreno Busta
Head-to-head: Carreno Busta 2-0
For Pablo Carreno Busta, this will be the first match after taking the Bronze Medal at the Tokyo Olympics, an achievement that clearly meant the world to him. One of the opponents he had to take out was Dominik Koepfer, and the match was decided by a very tight tie-breaker in the opening set. The Spaniard should be riding really high on confidence right now and even though Cincinnati plays much faster than the courts at Tokyo, he’s always been able to adapt to that very well.
Prediction: Carreno Busta in 2
Andrey Rublev vs Marin Cilic
Head-to-head: Rublev 3-1
Andrey Rublev lost three of his last four matches, which we very rarely see from the Russian these days. It’s not as bad as it sounds, though, as Kei Nishikori was really inspired at his home Olympics and John Isner turns out to be a nightmare matchup for him. Rublev should have a slightly easier time against Marin Cilic here, especially as he’s already taken him out in straight sets in Miami this year. Both players will fight for baseline dominance but it is definitely the fourth seed who’s a more consistent and reliable player, able to maintain a high level and low error count over an extended patch of play.
Prediction: Rublev in 3
Karen Khachanov vs Felix Auger-Aliassime
Head-to-head: Khachanov 1-0
The Olympic Silver Medalist came straight back to work and played in Toronto, losing in the third round to Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Russian showcased signs of exhaustion, but a couple of days of rest certainly allowed him to get back on his feet, at least judging by his comfortable dismissal of Kevin Anderson in the opening round. The past two months have been among the best in Khachanov’s career. His very physical brand of tennis could wear out Felix Auger-Aliassime, whose level of play still wildly fluctuates between matches.
Prediction: Khachanov in 3
Main Photo from Getty.