The 2022 Lyon Open kicks off with main draw action on Sunday. There are three matches on the schedule, including James Duckworth’s comeback and Holger Rune taking on Arthur Rinderknech. Who do you think will advance?
Francisco Cerundolo vs James Duckworth
Head-to-head: First meeting
James Duckworth will be playing his first match since the Australian Open, coming back after a hip surgery. The Australian was a pretty competitive clay-court player back in the day but combined with the fact that he’s only played six matches on the dirt in the past two seasons, this puts his performance under a huge question mark. While Francisco Cerundolo is yet to show he can play in Europe as well as on his own continent, the advantage of match practice and surface expertise is undeniable.
Prediction: Cerundolo in 2
Adrian Mannarino vs Aslan Karatsev
Head-to-head: Mannarino 1-0
Adrian Mannarino won this one at the Australian Open, testing Aslan Karatsev’s rally tolerance and forcing him to spray errors. He should theoretically have the chance to do that again on a slower surface, but the Frenchman is simply not a great clay-court player. He plays his backhand extremely flat with very little spin, which renders most of his assets practically unavailable on the dirt. Mannarino is currently on a 15-match losing streak on clay and while Karatsev isn’t in great form either, he should be able to take this one.
Prediction: Karatsev in 3
Holger Rune vs Arthur Rinderknech
Head-to-head: Rinderknech 1-0
Arthur Rinderknech defeated Holger Rune at Kitzbuhel last year, a clay-court that really suits him due to being situated on altitude. The Frenchman will be in trouble here though as he’s only played one match this clay-court season. His last appearance was a loss to Fabio Fognini at Monte Carlo, over a month ago. Meanwhile, Rune continues to show glimpses of incredible talent but mixing it up with poor performances. It’s hard to predict which version of the Dane will show up in Lyon, but given Rinderknech’s lack of rhythm, he should find a way to win.
Prediction: Rune in 3