The south of Spain and grass court tennis may seem like strange bedfellows, but this week’s ATP action in Mallorca has been a treat so far. Organised by one Toni Nadal, the Mallorca Open only debuted on the ATP Tour last year, and its second edition has attracted some big names. Two of those, Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tstispas, will be in action today, with places in the quarterfinals on the line here on Day 4. We also predict the rest of the day’s action in a separate article.
ATP Mallorca Day 4 Predictions
Marcos Giron vs Mackenzie McDonald
Head-to-head: 1-0 Giron
A collision of two Americans coming off three setters in the first round. Giron edged a tightly-fought contest against recent Queens semi-finalist Botic van de Zandschulp, while McDonald ousted Joao Sousa. Curiously, both men faced (and lost to) Felix Auger-Aliassime in Halle last week, with Giron’s closer three-set defeat perhaps offering him more credit. However, of the two, it’s McDonald who seems more comfortable on grass. He has a fourth-round appearance at Wimbledon under his belt while Giron lacks experience outside of hard courts. This is a razor-thin matchup, but McDonald is the ever-so-slight favourite.
Prediction: McDonald in 3
Daniel Altmaier vs Sebastian Baez
Head-to-head: First meeting
It’s been a week to celebrate for Argentina’s Sebastian Baez, who will be seeded at a Grand Slam for the first time in his career at Wimbledon. As with so many young up-and-coming players, the 21-year-old has almost zero grass court pedigree to speak of, but he impressed with a straight sets win over the solid Jordan Thompson in the opening round. Altmaeir meanwhile has been in dreadful form this year, with just three wins to date in 2022 including his opening round here. And while they haven’t met at the pro level, Baez was victorious when the pair met on the Challenger Tour earlier in 2022.
Prediction: Baez in 2
Ilya Ivashka vs Stefanos Tsitsipas
Head-to-head: 2-0 Tsitsipas
This is the third meeting between the pair this year, and the third different surface too. Tsitsipas will be heavily favoured to add a grass victory to his clay and hard court successes over Ivashka, but it’s hard to escape the feeling that he looks slightly vulnerable at the moment. His backhand is particularly a problem – it simply isn’t a shot he can use aggressively, and opponents have cottoned on to this, peppering his backhand side at will. Ivashka himself is a talented player and certainly a potential banana skin opponent, but the Greek still has too many tools at his disposal.
Prediction: Tsitsipas in 2
Nick Kyrgios vs Roberto Bautista Agut
Head-to-head: 2-1 Bautista Agut
Two men who could scarcely be more different, both in their games and their personalities. On one side, the ice cool Bautista Agut is unspectacular but unrelentingly solid, and his semi-final appearance at Wimbledon in 2019 is proof that his ceaseless baseline game works on any surface. As for Kyrgios, well there’s little to say that hasn’t been said already. On a grass court in particular, his sheer talent puts him heads above most players, but just as importantly, the mental side of his game seems to be improving. His wafer-thin victory over Laslo Djere on Tuesday – in which he won two tie-break sets after dropping the opener – is proof that he can prevail in close matches. Expect the unexpected with Kyrgios, but if he finds his best level once again, he should have too much for the Spaniard.
Prediction: Kyrgios in 3
Main Photo from Getty.