ATP Hamburg Day 1 Predictions Including Botic van de Zandschulp vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina at the US Open

ATP Play kicks off Monday in Hamburg for another clay court summer tournament. There are plenty of strong names on display, as well as two teenage Germans getting the chance to play at Tour-level. Many clay courters will be fighting to gain as many points as possible before the tour fully shifts back to hard. All men’s and women’s matches are predicted here at Last Word on Tennis!

ATP Hamburg Day 1 Predictions

Lorenzo Musetti vs Dusan Lajovic

Head-to-head: First meeting

This will surely be a baseline battle between two players who love playing on clay. Neither player showed many results on grass and both have already played on clay so will be fully fit and used to the surface. Musetti has looked good on clay, winning a challenger in his last tournament on the surface before the grass court swing, reaching the round of 16 in Madrid after qualifying, and pushing Tsitsipas to five sets at Roland Garros. Lajovic scored a huge win over Casper Ruud in Madrid but hasn’t quite managed to beat any other top players. He had won matches but yet to secure a deep run. Musetti simply has more tools than Lajovic, especially on clay. The Italian will hit his shots and wear Lajovic down to win convincingly.
Prediction: Musetti in 2

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Karen Khachanov vs Jan-Lennard Struff

Head-to-head: 3-2 Khachanov

Their lone recent meeting on clay came here in 2020, won by Khachanov in a tight 7-5 third set. Struff has had a tough year so far, battling injuries and inconsistency with just a 7-13 record for all of 2022. He came back strong last week winning the Braunchsweig Challenger, though he did so without having to beat anyone ranked in the top-100. Khachanov will be hungry for a good result, as he hasn’t played in a month due to Wimbledon’s ban on Russian players. He is a big server who enjoys faster courts, namely indoor hard. However, he has improve on clay and reached the fourth round at this year’s French Open. Though Struff has a big serve as well, he tends to be comfortable on clay and has had some of his best results on surface. An in-form, healthy Struff would have a chance to pull off the upset, and he would trouble Khachanov, but the Russian will end up being too good in the end.
Prediction: Khachanov in 3

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Marko Topo vs Alex Molcan

Head-to-head: First meeting

Topo came to Hamburg having lost five of his last six matches before making it through the qualifying draw. He has played mostly at the Futures level but had an impressive qualifying run in Munich to reach the main draw. Molcan has quietly made his way into the Top 50 in the world, with a majority of his strong results coming on clay. He reached the final in Lyon, his third career and second of the year, all of which have been on clay. Topo has looked strong but is yet to win a tour-level match and got a tough draw. Molcan has been consistently improving his game and his experience and skills will be far too much for Topo to match. Molcan cruises to victory in straights.
Prediction: Molcan in 2

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Jozef Kovalik vs Max Hans Rehberg

Head-to-head: First meeting

Kovalik the veteran will take on local teenage wildcard Rehberg. Kovalik absolutely loves the clay, with 43 of his last 50 match wins coming on the surface. Rehberg has been almost exclusively at the Futures level this year and still has not captured a title against lower competition. He won just five games against Miomir Kecmanovic in Munich earlier this year where he also received a wild card. Kovalik is on a hot streak winning seven of his last nine matches including qualifying here. He has played mostly at the Challenger level but is a solid player who delivers results, especially in matches he should win. Kovalik has a better game and will take care of business with ease.
Prediction: Kovalik in 2

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Botic van de Zandschulp vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina

Head-to-head: 1-1

They have split their two meetings though Davidovich Fokina won the only one of those that cam on clay. The Spaniard has had an up-and-down year though half of his total wins have been on clay. Van de Zandschulp had an excellent grass court season and earlier in the year showed his talents on clay by making the Munich final and beating French Open finalist Casper Ruud in the process. Davidovich Fokina has the advantage of  playing last week and being more comfortable. Van de Zandschulp will have to transition quickly as someone who relies on a big serve and used that perfectly to fit a grass court game. Davidovich Fokina, while inconsistent, has a great clay court game and the extra comfort will make the difference for him to pull off the upset.
Prediction: Davidovich Fokina in 3

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