The second day of the 2022 Delray Beach Open features seven singles matches. One of the most exciting ones will feature a first-time meeting between two Americans who strike the ball like no one else on the tour – Jenson Brooksby and Stefan Kozlov. Who do you think will advance?
Denis Istomin vs Sam Querrey
Head-to-head: Querrey 4-3
The rivalry dates back to 2009, but they haven’t faced each other in almost seven years. Sam Querrey leads the hard court part of the head-to-head 3-1, but with both players in the twilight of their careers, it’s hard to know what to expect this time. For the American, the worrying part is that he’s coming into this match on a losing streak of nine, dating back to Wimbledon last year.
This could be a golden opportunity to break that series but Denis Istomin shouldn’t be overlooked. The 35-year-old has slightly improved in recent weeks, losing competitive matches to Jenson Brooksby and Liam Broady. With two wins under his belt in the qualifying draw here, he’ll be the one arriving with much more confidence and practice on the courts in Delray Beach. It could prove pivotal.
Prediction: Istomin in 3
Tennys Sandgren vs Marcos Giron
Head-to-head: 2-1 Sandgren
Tennys Sandgren is barely winning matches these days, and while Marcos Giron also went winless in January, he seemed back in good form in Dallas last week. The younger of the Americans reached the semifinal stage there, scoring a massive upset over Taylor Fritz and taking out Sandgren comfortably in straight sets. The 30-year-old does have a couple of wins over Giron back from 2019, but their careers have taken completely different paths since then. The World No. 64 has fully established himself as a tour-level force and should earn another win over Sandgren.
Prediction: Giron in 2
Jack Sock vs Daniel Altmaier
Head-to-head: Altmaier 1-0
Daniel Altmaier won this one in the quarterfinals of the Knoxville Challenger last year. While usually associated with clay-court prowess, the German proved there that he’s also capable of performing very well in faster conditions. His match against Jack Sock was a deciding tie-break thriller and the surprising factor was how easily Altmaier cleaned up his games on serve. The American will need to return much better in this one and while both his form and fitness remain unstable, he’s a big stage player and should be hungry for revenge.
Prediction: Sock in 3
Stefan Kozlov vs Jenson Brooksby
Head-to-head: First meeting
Two of the most unique players on the tour will take on each other in a quite perplexing battle. It seems like Stefan Kozlov’s off-pace style shouldn’t work that well against Jenson Brooksby, who’s very comfortable rallying from the back of the court. The runner-up of the Dallas Open must have taken a lot of confidence from that run, even though it ended in a two tie-break loss to Reilly Opelka. Kozlov’s recently improved his attacking potential and can more often earn free points off his serve plus one play. Brooksby returns very well though and should have the upper hand in the extended rallies, which we should see quite a lot of in this one.
Prediction: Brooksby in 3