The grass court season isn’t over just yet. ATP Newport gets underway on Monday, with plenty of top players having one last crack at the grass. We here at Last Word on Tennis will be offering up our predictions on who will be marching on to the second round. So, who will win on day 1?
ATP Newport Day 1 Predictions
Peter Gojowczyk vs Ugo Humbert
Head-to-head: Gojowczyk 1 – 0
This should be a straightforward one to call, but Humbert likes to make a predictor’s life a complete misery. The exuberant Frenchman is capable of sensational tennis, but has had an awful year so far. That said, he showed some good form at Wimbledon which should hopefully boost his confidence for the rest of the season.
Gojowczyk has never had any real form or results on grass, and is unlikely to win this one. Humbert might have a bad set filled with errors but there seems to be more confidence and solidity in his game right now and this should be pretty straightforward – so long as he doesn’t play a shocker of a match.
Prediction: Humbert in 2
Jason Kubler vs Jordan Thompson
This should be a fun one between the two Aussies. Kubler was one of the breakout players at Wimbledon, and it’s wonderful to see him having this success at 29 after a torrid time with injuries during his career. He showed that he’s a seriously high quality player, especially on the grass.
Thompson is also excellent on this surface. He’s picked up a title this year and looked in good shape at Wimbledon. This match could well go the distance, but I’ll back Kubler as his confidence will surely be running high after a great SW19 run.Prediction: Kubler in 3
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Stefan Kozlov vs Steve Johnson
Head-to-head: Kozlov 3 -1
This is another interesting matchup. Kozlov leads the head-to-head with two of these wins coming on grass a number of years ago. However, Steve Johnson annihilated his compatriot 6-0 6-0 in qualifying at Queen’s this year. Johnson played some great tennis at Wimbledon, whereas Kozlov was sent packing in straight sets by Diego Schwartzman in round one (not that this is embarrassing by ay means)
Kozlov is a nifty player and can be a really tough opponent, but his form doesn’t seem great right now. Johnson goes in as the favourite for me given his form and experience, but things could possibly get interesting if Kozlov finds his best tennis.
Prediction: Johnson in 2
Radu Albot vs Jack Sock
Head-to-head: Sock 2 – 0
Jack Sock is clearly making his way back to being a big time player again. The American’s comeback process has been tough, but he’s been patient and the results are definitely coming through now. He’d have been disappointed losing to Kubler at Wimbledon, but there’s plenty of positives for him right now.
Albot is far less explosive than Sock, and can’t defend as well as usual on this surface. It’ll come down to how well the American serves and hits his forehand, but this should be a fairly routine win. Sock has the dominant weapons, and Albot can do little to hurt him on the grass. Expect Sock to go through here.
Prediction: Sock in 2
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