There is a blockbuster quarterfinal schedule on Friday at the ATP Stuttgart Open. Four finely poised matches will take place including the mouthwatering tie between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andy Murray. As Wimbledon looms into view, the stars of the ATP Tour will be looking to get some much-needed momentum on the brief grass-court swing. Who will book their place in the semifinals?
ATP Stuttgart Open Quarterfinal Predictions
Matteo Berrettini vs Lorenzo Sonego
Head-to-head: Berrettini 2-0 Sonego
Matteo Berrettini returned from his injury layoff and picked up a priceless win in his opening match against Radu Albot. He overcame the jitters of dropping the second set before cruising in the third. Lorenzo Sonego, for his part, gunned down Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 7-6 in a serving battle that featured zero breaks of serve. By dint of ranking, Berrettini is the favorite in this match. But I am slightly cautious in that view. Sonego’s point construction skills on the grass are surprisingly excellent. The 27-year-old also possesses a powerful first serve that could quite feasibly match Berrettini’s, especially if a set goes into a tiebreak. Berrettini reiterated that he has lost his rhythm a little bit while spending time on the sidelines. This could be a window of opportunity for Sonego to take advantage of.
Prediction: Sonego in 3
Benjamin Bonzi vs Oscar Otte
Head-to-head: Otte 1-0 Bonzi
Less than a year ago, these two players were contesting for Challenger titles. But following a hugely successful spell on the ATP’s second tier, they have earned their slots in playing more regularly on the main tour. Otte reached his third quarterfinal of 2022 after upsetting the fourth seed Denis Shapovalov. Bonzi, meanwhile, edged out compatriot Arthur Rinderknech in straight sets. Grass will bring the best out of these two as they both hit big. Otte will have a lion’s share of the crowd support and his confidence will be sky high following that big win over the Canadian. This match is on a seesaw, but I will back the German to impress on home turf.
Prediction: Otte in 3
Marton Fucsovics vs Nick Kyrgios
Head-to-head: first meeting
Nick Kyrgios reacted superbly to dropping the first set against Nikoloz Basilashvili. The Aussie occasionally throws in the towel if things don’t go his way in sets, but he never relinquished his grip on serve despite losing the first tiebreak. Kyrgios fought back valiantly and halted Basilashvili’s momentum to win in three. Fucsovics, meanwhile, scored an odds-defying win over Hubert Hurkacz in the last round to reach his third quarterfinal in 2022. This matchup doesn’t favor the Hungarian – he generates decent pace and is a steady performer, but he lacks the weaponry to hit through Kyrgios on grass.
Prediction: Kyrgios in 2
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Andy Murray
Head-to-head: Tsitsipas 1-0 Murray
Stefanos Tsitsipas hit the ground running in his first match in this year’s grass-court swing. The Greek dominated Swiss qualifier Dominic Stricker, winning 6-4 6-3 in just 72 minutes. Remarkably, this was Tsitsipas’ first win on the lawns since 2019. The top seed made amends for his tepid showing in his last match on grass when he lost to Frances Tiafoe at Wimbledon last year. Tsitsipas glided across the cross the court on a sodden day in Stuttgart, winning 89% first-serve points and broke serve twice. The only glaring issue from the win was the percentage of first serves landed, which stood at 48%. That figure will need to improve considerably against Murray who likes to take the ball almost invariably inside the baseline. The Briton’s skillset makes him a formidable opposition on grass, but from a physical standpoint, Tsitsipas will have the decisive edge.
Prediction: Tsitsipas in 2
Main Photo from Getty.