Adelaide plays host to an ATP event for the second week running and with many of the participants coming back again they will at least be familiar with the facilities! A wide open Day 1 at the ATP Adelaide Open is ahead of us, with four main draw matches and four final round of qualifying matches on the order of play. All four main draw matches are previewed and predicted in this article.
ATP Adelaide 2 Day 1 Predictions
Alexander Bublik vs Aleksander Vukic
H2H: First meeting
Neither player is in great form at this level with both losing four of their last five. Bublik is an unpredictable player but has the potential to blitz Vukic, especially on his own serve. The wildcard, perhaps surprisingly, doesn’t have a winning record at home so there is little home advantage to help him. I am going to side with the Kazakh here to start his year well in a tight tussle.
Prediction: Bublik in 3
Mackenzie McDonald vs Arthur Rinderknech
H2H: First meeting
Both of these men showed great progress in 2021 and both are just outside the top 50 at the start of this year. Rinderknech had real trouble last season breaking his opponents on hard courts, only managing to do it 12.5% of return games. He held serve very well though, which led to a lot of tiebreaks in his matches. I don’t know that this will happen vs McDonald though because the American was excellent in returning last year. Based on this form I favor the American in this match to eventually get on top of the Frenchman’s serve and come out on top.
Prediction: McDonald in 3
John Millman vs Jaume Munar
Millman may have lost four in a row on tour but probably heads into this match as favorite. He defeated Munar four months ago but that was quite a tight match. Neither player has a winning record in the last twelve months on hard court and for Millman that is more disappointing than the clay court specialist Spaniard. Indeed, it is Munar that I am going to pick for this match as he was good last week in reaching the quarterfinals in Melbourne giving him the edge in recent form as well.
Prediction: Munar in 3
Frances Tiafoe vs Tommy Paul
These two Americans seem to have mirrored each other up the rankings to a current place around #40 (338 vs #43 respectively). Instinctively I would say that Tiafoe is the player with the higher level and possibly more talent but Paul has that touch of consistency and reliability. A blast from Tiafoe would be enough for victory on these Australian hard courts but there has been very little to split them in their last five sets against each other. Indeed, Paul out lasted Tiafoe in Stockholm in November 2021 and I feel we could see something similar play out here.
Prediction: Paul in 3
Main Photo from Getty.