Second round action commences on Day 3 of the ATP Qatar Open in Doha. Defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili will begin his title defence against Elias Ymer, whilst Karen Khachanov faces Emil Ruusuvuori in one of the most intriguing matchups of the day. We also predict the rest of the day’s matches in a separate article.
ATP Doha Day 3 Predictions
Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Elias Ymer
H2H: Basilashvili 1-0.
Basilashvili has made a horrible start to the season having lost all five of his completed matches. Conversely, Elias Ymer is currently in some of the best form of his career having gone through qualifying to reach the semifinals in Pune a few weeks ago. Ymer has already won three matches this week having once again come through the qualifying draw. A tough match to call, Basilashvili’s best gets the job done quite easily but he hasn’t shown that level for a while. Ymer defensive skills are likely to frustrate Basilashvili into too many errors on this occasion.
Prediction: Ymer in 2
Dan Evans vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
Evans and Davidovich Fokina both cruised through their opening matches in Doha. Evans beat Egor Gerasimov 6-4 6-4 whilst Evans beat Malek Jaziri 6-1 6-3. The Brit defeated Davidovich Fokina 7-6 6-2 in Stockholm last year in their only tour level main draw clash. I expect a similar result on this occasion. Evans has consistently been in better form than the Spaniard in recent times and is generally better suited to these conditions. Expect Evans to be too solid here.
Prediction: Evans in 2
Marin Cilic vs Botic van de Zandschulp
H2H: Cilic 1-0.
Marin Cilic had a strong Australian summer with back-to-back semifinals in Adelaide and a fourth round appearance at the Australian Open. Cilic will be in action for the first time since the Australian Open when he faeces Botic van de Zandschulp in Doha. Cilic defeated the dutchman 6-3 6-3 in the only previous meeting between the pair in St. Petersburg last year. It’s hard to know what to expect from Cilic after a few weeks ago, he has rarely been able to maintain good form for multiple months in recent years. I’ll still side with Cilic here, van de Zandschulp’s recent form isn’t great.
Prediction: Cilic in 3
Karen Khachanov vs Emil Ruusuvuori
H2H: Khachanov 1-0.
Khachanov defeated Ruusuvuori 6-2 7-5 in Indian Wells last year in the only previous meeting between the pair. The Russian is likely to have a tougher time in this matchup when the pair meet in Doha given Ruusuvuori’s promising recent form. Ruusuvuori arrived in Doha fresh from a runner-up showing in Pune and played increasingly well in a 4-6 6-4 6-1 opening round win over David Goffin in Doha. Khachanov has been typically solid but unspectacular in 2022, these are the matches he usually wins before losing to a quality opponent in the later round. Expect Khachanov to find a way through this one.
Prediction: Khachanov in 3
Main Photo from Getty.