Day 1 of the ATP 500 event in Vienna includes a blockbuster match featuring Andy Murray, as he takes on rising star Hubert Hurkacz. Hurkacz reached the final of the Miami Masters and crushed Roger Federer at Wimbledon. Can Murray find his top form again to compete with top players? As always, our writers share their thoughts on all of the day’s matches.
ATP Vienna Day 1 Predictions
Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Pablo Carreno Busta
Basilashvili has been incredibly hit or miss this year. Some tournaments he looks like one of the elite. In others, he can be bounced early by weak players. The Georgian, whose domestic abuse case is likely ending soon, sits at 15th in the Race to Turin, one spot behind his opponent here. Both are long shots to reach the top eight, though both have a chance. Basilashvili has been playing very well recently, though, so he should advance.
Prediction: Basilashvili in 2
Carlos Alcaraz vs Dan Evans
Alcaraz is a rising young Spaniard who already is near elite on clay, but he’s very solid on hard courts as well. He’s not always consistent on the faster surfaces yet, though, so the Brit should have the advantage here.
Prediction: Evans in 3
Alex de Minaur vs Kevin Anderson
Anderson has not yet returned to his Top 5 form after an injury absence, but the serve is still potent. On a fast indoor court with a decent bounce, the ball should be right in his wheelhouse. De Minaur is rising, but Anderson should be able to cruise.
Prediction: Anderson in 2
Alexei Popyrin vs Matteo Berrettini
Berrettini reached the Wimbledon final, where he had a real chance to take out Djokovic. Since then, the Italian hasn’t been nearly his best, which is unfortunate. His huge serve and forehand should do well on fast indoor courts, but his current form isn’t inspiring confidence. Then again, Popyrin isn’t looking like his early-year high level, either.
Prediction: Berrettini in 3
Andy Murray vs Hubert Hurkacz
The story of Murray’s 2021 season is getting horrible draws for good events. The Brit has been playing well, near-elite even, but he’s been stuck against elite players just about everywhere he turned. Murray almost beat Stefanos Tsitsipas at the US Open, outplayed Alexander Zverev at Indian Wells, and has lost two very close matches to Hurkacz this year already. Murray’s still improving, though, and Hurkacz is inconsistent. Expect British fans to have something to cheer here.
Prediction: Murray in 2
Main Photo from Getty.