The quarterfinal round is upon us at the ATP Estoril Open, and a thrilling race to the finish line is undoubtedly in store. At least half of the remaining eight are solid title contenders, promising a tense and exciting day of tennis. As throughout the week, we will be offering up our predictions on who will be making it into the semifinals. So, who will advance in Portugal?
ATP Estoril Quarterfinal Predictions
Albert Ramos-Vinolas vs Fernando Verdasco
Head-to-head: Ramos-Vinolas 5 – 5 Verdasco
While this match-up may seem incredibly even given their head-to-head, it’s far from that in 2022. Ramos-Vinolas has won the last three meetings between the two, all of which have occurred on clay. Ramos-Vinolas has remained an excellent clay courter, winning the title here last year and generally making himself incredibly tough to beat on this surface.
Verdasco has fallen away recently and unfortunately lacks the raw power he once possessed, and it’s probably why he hasn’t won a set against his compatriot since defeating him in 2017. Without strong enough weapons, Ramos-Vinolas can simply absorb and redistribute everything the 38 year-old throws at him. Unless he pulls out a vintage performance, Verdasco doesn’t have too much hope here.
Predictions: Ramos-Vinolas in 2
Richard Gasquet vs Sebastian Baez
Head-to-head: First meeting
It’s always great to see a clash of generations. Gasquet is a classic veteran of the tour, and Baez is on the rise and impresses more and more as each week passes. That said, Gasquet has looked in wonderful nick this week. The Frenchman is yet to drop a set and is playing the best tennis we’ve seen from him for quite some time. However, his next match is a real step up.
Sebastian Baez isn’t getting the hype and praise that other the Next Gen are receiving just yet, but don’t let that fool you. He’s made an exceptional transition from the challenger circuit to the main tour, and looks right at home amongst the elite – especially on clay. Though he looked shaky in the first set against Cilic, he turned it round and won in impressive fashion. The young Argentine is no doubt destined to be a top player on clay, and though it’ll be tough against an in-form Gasquet, I expect him to reach the semifinals here.
Prediction: Baez in 3
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina vs Frances Tiafoe
Head-to-head: First meeting
This should be a cracker. Tiafoe has had some interesting matches so far this week, having to win in three sets where he won the third set 6-0 on both occasions. When he’s on song, he’s joy to watch and a great showman. When he’s not, things are very tough for him. If he’s going to progress here, he’ll have to be razor sharp to get past his next opponent.
After his wonderful week reaching the final in Monte Carlo, Davidovich Fokina is backing it up nicely with some good form here. It wasn’t easy at times in his first match, but there seems to be a much greater level of control and confidence around him right now. He’s currently one of the better clay court players on tour, and this is certainly a tournament he can win. Tiafoe will cause problems as he is often so capable of doing, but the Spaniard looks so measured and consistently good right now that I can’t see him losing.
Prediction: Davidovich Fokina in 3
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Sebastian Korda
Head-to-head: Auger-Aliassime 1 – 0 Korda
A match-up we’ll likely be seeing a lot of over the next decade or so. Auger-Aliassime has had a bizarre year so far, after making such a sensational start he’s slowed down immensely and barely looks the same player. As is often his problem, he can look like a world beater one week but the following one he won’t be able to find a forehand at all. It was far from easy against Taberner, but he found a way to turn things around which is a positive sign.
Korda, on the other hand, has looked imperious this week. He’s having similar spouts of form to Auger-Aliassime–in Monte Carlo he took down Carlos Alcaraz only to then lose his follow-up match and then went crashing out of the Barcelona Open in straight sets. However, this week appears to be one of his good weeks. His game looks very effective on the clay, and if Auger-Aliassime is still struggling then it’s danger times for the top seed. Realistically this could go either way depending on who turns up better on the day, but I’ll give Korda the edge as he looks stronger this week.
Prediction: Korda in 3
Main Photo from Getty.