ATP Pune Day 1 Predictions Including Yuki Bhambri vs Jozef Kovalik

Yuki Bhambri
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After a year out of the tennis calendar, the ATP Maharashtra Open in Pune is back for its 26th edition. Though the tournament’s field has suffered due to its new place in the calendar, many players usually relegated to the Challenger Tour will be able to show what they are capable of on the main tour. As always, we here at LWOT will preview and predict every match. Who do you think will win?

ATP Pune Day 1 Predictions

Federico Gaio vs Radu Albot

H2H: Gaio 1-0 Albot

The opening main draw match of the tournament pits two veterans outside of the Top 100 against each other. Of the two, Albot is not only the one with better hard court results and more main tour experience, the Moldovan is also in solid form. Albot qualified to reach the third round at the Australian Open, notching impressive wins over Yoshihito Nishioka and Aleksandar Vukic in the main draw. Gaio is primarily a clay courter and since their previous meeting dates all the way back to 2011, I do not see a reason why Albot should not advanced.
Prediction: Albot in 2

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Daniel Altmaier vs Prajnesh Gunneswaran

H2H: Altmaier 0-1 Gunneswaran

The fifth-seeded German did not have a good Australian summer, going 1-4 with his only win coming against Michail Pervolarakis. Altmaier has preferred clay in the last few seasons but won a Challenger on hard courts to finish his 2021 season. Gunneswaran struggled last season, going 19-28. The Indian is looking for a bounce back season at 32 years old and getting a run going in front of the home crowd could be the perfect storm for him. Gunneswaran won their previous meeting at a Challenger in Chennai in 2019. Altmaier should be the favorite but Gunneswaran will not go down easily.
Prediction: Altmaier in 3

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Ricardas Berankis vs Quentin Halys

H2H: Berankis 1-1 Halys

Berankis has had a decent start to the season, getting four wins and losing only to Rafael Nadal and Andrey Rublev. The 31-year-old reached the semifinals the last time this tournament was held so he definitely cannot be counted out. Halys has also been in good form this year, reaching the final of the Forli Challenger, though the Frenchman has had trouble closing matches out. Their previous meetings have both taken place at French Challengers in October, Berankis taking their first meeting at Brest in 2018 while Halys was the winner a few months ago in Mouilleron le Captif. Halys is a solid test for the Lithuanian to start, but I see Berankis coming out on top here.
Prediction: Berankis in 3

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Jozef Kovalik vs Yuki Bhambri

H2H: first meeting

Kovalik, primarily a clay court player, has had a rough start to the year, currently winless with losses to Henri Laaksonen and Elias Ymer. Bhambri is definitely the more intriguing player here as the 29-year-old has barely played since 2018. Bhambri attempted a comeback last spring in Singapore and Dubai but took the rest of the season off. The Indian is 1-1 on the season and it will be interesting to see if he can put together enough results to get his ranking up to at least enter most Challenger events. Bhambri will definitely have the home support as he was a very promising prospect in his junior days, while Kovalik’s poor form should enable him to get the win here.
Prediction: Bhambri in 2

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