Lots to look forwards to on Day 4 of ATP action in Sofia. There will be quite a day of tennis. Who do you think will win? We share our thoughts on all the matches. We predict three matches in this article, and the other three in a separate article.
ATP Sofia Day 4 Predictions
James Duckworth vs Benoit Paire
Head-to-head: First meeting
Since losing a five-set thriller to Pedro Martinez in the US Open, James Duckworth has been on something of a tear. The Australian won a Challenger title in Istanbul and made the final of Nur-Sultan indoors last week. His win over Emil Ruusuvouri in the opening round shows that he still has energy in the legs and his consistency is going to trouble Paire.
The mercurial Frenchman certainly doesn’t boast the same type of form but he was an even bigger outsider when defeating the seventh seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina here in round one. Indoor hard hasn’t been Paire’s specialism over the years either with a 52.5% winning record across his career indoors. Incidentally, Duckworth holds exactly the same percentage win indoors but with his recent form and his athletic ability to keep it going and firing it back at Paire I think the Aussie could come out on top.
Prediction: Duckworth in 3
Marcos Giron vs Alex De Minaur
Head-to-head: Giron 2 – 1 De Minaur
It’s interesting that Giron holds the advantage in the head-to-head record here. He won both times as a big underdog but the American’s game has progressed to the point that a victory here, whilst it might be a slight surprise, wouldn’t be a shock.
The lack of form that the Australian has shown so far this season has been a real surprise, and Giron has the serve to be able to put pressure on De Minaur’s usually reliable return game. It is clear in previous matches that Giron has found this match-up to his liking in the past and I fancy him to extend that record here.
Prediction: Giron in 3
Ilya Ivashka vs Gael Monfils
Head-to-head: Ivashka 1-1 Monfils
This could be a cracking match. Ivashka has really improved this season to the point where he is one of the key players at this level of tournament. He defeated Monfils at the Olympics and that seemed to become a springboard to even greater heights for the Belarusian.
However, just to make things a touch more complicated, Monfils has seemed to find a new lease of life recently. I still make it unlikely that the Frenchman will overturn the recent form with Ivashka but I think it will be a really close match that, ultimately, the winning record of Ivashka and the confidence that brings will deliver him over the line.
Prediction: Ivashka in 3
Main Photo from Getty.