The ATP Tour returns to the indoor hard court this week and Day 2 of the ATP Moscow Open has some interesting matches on the schedule. Ilya Ivashka will be looking to rekindle the form that saw him win his first ATP Tour title in Winston Salem and the Belorussian gets his campaign underway against the experienced Evgeny Donskoy. Elsewhere Miomir Kecmanovic faces a tough opponent in Egor Gerasimov. Here are my predictions for four of the matches being played on Day 2, with the day’s other matches split between two separate articles.
ATP Moscow Open Day 2 Predictions
Pedro Martinez vs Guido Pella
Head to Head: First meeting
Guido Pella is using his protected ranking to play in Moscow this week. The Argentine has failed to make it beyond the round of 16 in any of the events he has played this season, however there have been some promising signs during the U.S. hard court swing that he could be beginning to find some form again. Pella had a good win over Filip Krajinovic at the US Open in the opening round and he had another good win over Soon-woo Kwon in Indian wells, but the Argentine failed to build on those wins.
Pedro Martinez has had the most successful year of his career so far and his ATP ranking currently resides at 61. The Spaniard reached his first ATP Tour final in Kitzbuhel and he recently won a challenger in Seville. Although mainly being considered a clay court specialist, Martinez played well at the US Open where he lost in four sets to Andrey Rublev in the second round.
I think this will be a close match, however I think Martinez is in better form at the moment and I think he will get the win in three sets.
Prediction: Martinez in 3
Egor Gerasimov vs Miomir Kecmanovic
Head to Head: First meeting
Miomir Kecmanovic has failed to produce his best tennis this season. The Serbs best results came in the first half of the season where he reached the quarterfinals at the Great Ocean Road Open and Belgrade 2 as well as the semifinals in Cordoba. However, for much of the year Kecmanovic has struggled to find consistency and win back-to back matches regularly. His ranking has dipped from a career high of 38 achieved in March to 71.
Egor Gerasimov came through qualifying to reach the main draw. Like his opponent, Gerasimov’s best result on tour this season was a run to the semifinals in Montpellier, a run that included impressive wins over Andy Murray, Aljaz Bedene and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Gerasimov has made the round of 16 at a number of events, however he is yet to consistently reach the latter stages of events.
I think this will be another close match that will go to three sets and I think Kecmanovic will get the win.
Prediction: Kecmanovic in 3
Adrian Mannarino vs Roman Safiullin
Head to Head: First Meeting
Adrian Mannarino is another player who has struggled to find his best tennis this season. Outside of a semifinal run during the grass court season in Mallorca, the Frenchman has really struggled to win matches regularly. It is important to note that Mannarino suffered a devastating injury in his first round match at Wimbledon against Roger Federer, where he had to retire at two sets all. The Frenchman has an unconventional game style and is usually difficult to beat when he plays his best tennis.
Roman Safiullin has played predominantly on the ATP Challenger Tour this season, however the Russian was able to record first round wins at the Australian Open and Roland Garros over Ilya Ivashka and Carlos Taberner. At Tour level, Safiullin is somewhat of an unknown quantity and he has not had the opportunity to play many ATP Tour events. It will be interesting to see how the Russian plays with the home crowd support.
I think this is a real opportunity for Safiullin to record an upset. There is no pressure on the Russian, and Mannarino has really struggled to find his game this season. I think the Russian will get the win in three sets.
Prediction: Safiullin in 3
Evgeny Donskoy vs Ilya Ivashka
Head to Head: 1-0 Ivashka
Ilya Ivashka has played the best tennis of his career this season. The Belorussian has been consistent on all surfaces this year. Notable results include reaching the semifinals in Munich, the fourth round of Wimbledon, and the third round of the US Open. The week before the US Open, Ivashka won his first ATP Tour title in Winston Salem, and has continued his good form on the indoor hard courts, reaching the semifinals in Nur-Sultan.
Evgeny Donskoy received a wildcard into the main-draw this week and the Russian has played a combination of ATP Challenger Tour and ATP Tour events this season. Donskoy has not won many main tour matches this year and the Russian’s best result of the season was when he reached the round of 16 in Los Cabos. On the ATP Challenger Tour, his best result was a run to the semifinals of the second Biella Challenger.
I think Ivashka is the player in better form and I think he will have too much firepower for Donskoy. I think the Belorussian will get the win in straight sets.
Prediction: Ivashka in 2
Main Photo from Getty.