Round Two is due to be completed at ATP Rio on Day 4. The humidity in Rio is causing a few problems for players and supporters alike at the venue, so completing your matches without too much fuss should help the players who reach the latter stages. Who will complete the quarterfinal lineup?
ATP Rio Day 4 Predictions
Lorenzo Sonego vs Miomir Kecmanovic
Head-to-head: Sonego 2-1 Kecmanovic
All of the previous meetings between this pair have been closely contested affairs. The most recent was at the Australian Open last month. The Serbian came out on top there in four sets by maintaining a high-level attacking game. Though these conditions are totally different the Serbian is a capable clay court player, though his win percentage on this surface isn’t as high as Sonego’s over the course of their careers. The Italian absolutely hammered Laslo Djere in the opening round. This, coupled with his impressive run to the semifinals in Buenos Aires last week, means that he has to be sided with to take a quarterfinal spot here.
Prediction: Sonego in 2
Matteo Berrettini vs Thiago Monteiro
Head-to-head: first meeting
With his big serve and big forehand game most tend to think of Berrettini as a faster surface player. His record on grass is superb, a 78% win rate in his career, but it was fairly surprising to learn that clay is his second best surface by win percentage. As an Italian it perhaps shouldn’t be that surprising but he is on foreign soil in more ways than one in this match.
Berrettini has never played a tour match in Brazil, he hasn’t been played the Golden Swing, and his opponent is a Brazil native. Monteiro also has the advantage of having played here this week already, bringing his A game against Sebastian Baez to see the Argentine off. Berrettini is the better player in the vast majority of circumstances but in this particular scenario Monteiro should give him a good match. However, I don’t think that that Monteiro has the necessary weapons to keep the ball out of the Italian’s hitting zone.
Prediction: Berrettini in 3
Francisco Cerundolo vs Casper Ruud
Head-to-head: First meeting
Both of these players have done a lot of winning recently. Ruud’s title win in Buenos Aires continued his superb clay court record; the Norwegian has now won 87% of his clay court matches in the last year. Cerundolo, though, has won nine of his last eleven matches himself and shouldn’t be underestimated. Given the fact that this is Ruud’s first piece of action in Brazil, four days after his Buenos Aires heroics, I expect him to have rested sufficiently to now be able to attack this match and win it.
Prediction: Ruud in 3
Federico Delbonis vs Carlos Alcaraz
Head-to-head: First meeting
Alcaraz will be able to do his damage on the return of serve here. Though his serve has beefed up considerably from his debut season, Alcaraz can still be fairly vulnerable on his own delivery, especially on clay. However, he has an incredible break ratio of 40% on the tour on clay at the moment. Delbonis has had a rollercoaster Golden Swing and I find it unlikely that his serve will hold up to the examination of the Alcaraz return. The young Spaniard started playing some spectacular tennis against Jaume Munar in the opening round. I expect that level to begin much sooner here.
Prediction: Alcaraz in 2
Main Photo from Getty.