The 2022 ATP Citi Open in Washington will have 48 players competing for the singles title. The seeds come in from the second round onwards, but are there any possible dark horses among the floaters? One of them could be Jack Draper, who’s due to face the tricky Stefan Kozlov in Round 1. As always, we here at LWOS give our thoughts on each of the matches. In addition to this article, we split the day’s matches between two articles. One features Andy Murray vs Mikael Ymer and the other features Denis Kudla vs Michael Mmoh. Who do you think will advance?
ATP Washington Day 1 Predictions
Dominik Koepfer vs Soon-woo Kwon
Head-to-head: Koepfer 1-0
Dominik Koepfer’s injury comeback didn’t go as planned on grass, but the German is regaining his footing with successful qualifying campaigns in Atlanta and Washington. The quality of the opposition faced wasn’t great though and Soon-woo Kwon will be a big step up. The Korean also didn’t win a match on grass but for him, it’s probably not much more than a surface issue (and drawing Novak Djokovic in round one at Wimbledon). His fast-paced game will test Koepfer’s ability to compete at this level. It should be tight.
Prediction: Kwon in 3
Tung-Lin Wu vs Alexei Popyrin
Head-to-head: First meeting
Tung-Lin Wu made big strides this year with a maiden Challenger title at Tallahassee. His aggressive shotmaking looked extremely dangerous on occasion, but he’s usually not able to maintain that over the whole match. The very best version of the Taiwanese can keep it close, but with Alexei Popyrin’s supreme weapons and easier ways to win points, this will likely be a struggle for the 24-year-old.
Prediction: Popyrin in 3
Peter Gojowczyk vs Benoit Paire
Benoit Paire has only won six matches this year, losing twenty-two times in the meantime. It’s rough to watch such talent getting wasted, but here’s where we are right now. Peter Gojowczyk isn’t doing so hot either and will likely suffer a massive fall down the rankings soon (not unlike Paire). The German at least won two matches in Atlanta and while his one-dimensional high-risk style has little consistency, he’s certain to come motivated for this one, even if still way off his best. Paire isn’t.
Prediction: Gojowczyk in 3
Stefan Kozlov vs Jack Draper
Head-to-head: First meeting
Stefan Kozlov started his resurgence at this time last year, but it doesn’t seem like history will repeat itself. Last week, he took just one game off Ramkumar Ramanathan in Atlanta qualifying. Interestingly, Draper also lost to the Indian, not looking great physically at the end of the three-set clash. Kozlov’s unique game can be very unpleasant to face when he’s on and fully focused. The American has had an awful year though and likely won’t stand in Draper’s way too much.
Prediction: Draper in 2
Main Photo from Getty.