ATP Miami Day 3 Predictions, Including Francis Tiafoe vs Brandon Nakashima

Frances Tiafoe ATP Queens 2021
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Round 1 of the ATP Miami Open is winding down, and Day 3 brings in the heavy-hitters out of the round of byes. Will we get our first juicy upset? Predictions ensue, including Matteo Berrettini vs Juan Manuel Cerundolo.

ATP Miami Open Day 3 Predictions

Reilly Opelka vs Francisco Cerundolo

Head-to-head: first meeting

Opelka enters this match playing very well, with thirteen wins on the season, two finals appearances, and one title. He has steadily risen in the rankings over the last couple years, and is playing his best tennis. His young opponent, by contrast, is very inexperienced on tour and is primarily a clay court player, with only two tour matches on hard court. The huge American favors the hard courts, though, and the speed of his serve should be trouble for an inexperienced player used to the slower bounce of clay.
Prediction: Opelka in 2

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Gael Monfils vs Oscar Otte

Head-to-head: first meeting

Monfils is playing like a younger man this year, having earned a title already, a Slam quarterfinal appearance, and a victory over then-world #1 Daniil Medvedev. He also loves hard courts, and has extensive experience in Miami (although he hasn’t played in the tournament for six years). The German Otte is very limited in his experience, has never played Miami, and has not placed a high-level victory this year. I would expect Monfils to continue channeling his younger self.
Prediction: Monfils in 2

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Matteo Berrettini vs Juan Manuel Cerundolo

Head-to-head: first meeting

A hard court matchup between two players who would prefer clay. Berrettini has the obvious upperhand here, and going through the stats would be redundant after simply looking at the rankings. Cerundolo has no experience to speak of, and has only one career tour-level win on hard courts at this point in his young career. He will likely have trouble with the speed of Berrettini’s serve, and the Italian should advance comfortably.
Prediction: Berrettini in 2

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Francis Tiafoe vs Brandon Nakashima

Head-to-head: Tiafoe 2-0 Nakashima

Tiafoe owns the head-to-head, including the most recent victory just last tournament in Indian Wells. The stat also doesn’t include a third victory against Nakashima in a Challenger. So Tiafoe looks to have the advantage, although he otherwise hasn’t played well this year, and hasn’t played much (just six matches). He can be up and down, but he’s usually up in Miami, where he has a 10-4 record. Nakashima has played almost exclusively on hard courts, and I think he could make a game of it against a struggling Tiafoe, but the head-to-head and Tiafoe’s success in Miami push me in his direction.
Prediction: Tiafoe in 3

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