Day 4 saw some major upsets in the ATP Croatia Open in Umag, including Hamburg champion Lorenzo Musetti and rising clay courter Sebastian Baez. Low-ranked players abound in the quarterfinals, but still have formidable opponents on both sides of the draw in Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz. Can anyone pull the upset? See below for our picks, including Jannik Sinner vs Roberto Carballes Baena.
ATP Umag Quarterfinals Predictions
Jannik Sinner vs Roberto Carballes Baena
Head-to-head: Sinner 1-0
Jannik Sinner has been very consistent this year, but he will have to break through his consistency if he wants to move on. Despite a huge 32-9 record this year, he has yet to make it past the quarterfinal stage. It seems like a tournament where he only needed to win one low-level match just to reach the quarters is the likely place, and he doesn’t tend to stumble against low competition (almost all of his losses have been against the top 10). Carballes Baena got a good win against Molcan in Round 2, and he does have a clay tournament to his name (whereas Sinner does not), but Sinner has beaten him already this year at Roland Garros. The Italian should roll.
Prediction: Sinner in 2
Franco Agamenone vs Marco Cecchinato
Head-to-head: first meeting
The quarterfinals are filled with Italians, and here we get an unexpected Italian matchup. Agamenone took care of the high-quality Sebastian Baez in Round 2, while Cecchinato took advantage of Lorenzo Musetti’s proneness to lapses, and unseated the Hamburg champion. Cecchinato has had the better career by far, and owns three titles, while Agamenone owns three matches total on clay. Maybe Cecchinato can recover his championship form from 2018 and make a run for the ages, or maybe at least he can revisit the glory days with a trip to the semis. He should be able to pull it off here.
Prediction: Cecchinato in 3
Giulioi Zeppieri vs Bernabe Zapata Miralles
Head-to-head: first meeting
Zeppieri continues his slow climb up the rankings, and has notched his first ATP wins this week. Meanwhile, Zapata Miralles took down the struggling Holger Rune, fighting back from a set down. Neither player is accomplished on the tour, and each has a similar record on clay at the Challenger level, with a slight edge to the Spaniard. He can be very scrappy, as evidenced against Rune, and he should be able to edge his inexperienced opponent here.
Prediction: Zapata Miralles in 3
Carlos Alcaraz vs Facundo Bagnis
Head-to-head: Alcaraz 2-0
We have yet to see any slip from Alcaraz against low-level competition, and I wouldn’t expect it here. He keeps rolling, and has already beaten Bagnis twice in sub-ATP competition, back when he was a mere unknown and not a tennis steamroller. He should get the job done easily here.
Prediction: Alcaraz in 2
Main Photo from Getty.