With Wimbledon done and dusted and most of the major clay court tournaments behind us, the ATP Tour shifts to the American hard court swing. World #1 Daniil Medvedev makes his return to the court here in Los Cabos and is undoubtedly the favourite to lift the trophy. The Russian hasn’t played a competitive match in over a month but is arguably the best hard court player in the men’s game. Joining him in the hunt for the title are the likes of Cameron Norrie and Felix Auger-Aliassime. However, Quentin Halys is the only seed in action on Monday across the four matches to be played. On that note, let’s take a look at how those four matches should pan out in our ATP Los Cabos day 1 predictions.
ATP Los Cabos Day 1 Predictions
Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez vs Rinky Hijikata
Head-to-head: 1 – 0 Hijikata
Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez has been handed a wildcard and with it a real opportunity to make a statement on the ATP Tour. He faces Rinky Hijikata in the first round. Hijikata has been making waves at ITF level over the last 12 months or so. The Aussie has picked up six titles on the circuit in that time. He’s yet to show he can perform consistently at higher levels, but at 21 years old there is plenty of time for the Australian to change that. This match is a golden opportunity for both of these men. I expect Hijikata’s experience to be more of a factor than Mendez having the home crowd on his side in this one. Hijikata’s straight sets win in their meeting earlier this year seems to point to that as well so I’m backing the Aussie here.
Prediction: Hijikata in 3
Henri Laaksonen vs Max Purcell
Head-to-head: First meeting
Based on ability alone, Henri Laaksonen is the easy favourite to win this. The Swiss player hasn’t been in great form in 2022. However, he has been in and around the top 100 for the last four or five years. By contrast, Purcell has finished a year inside the top 200 in men’s tennis just once. The Aussie will like the fact that this match is being played on hard courts as it is his preferred surface. However, Laaksonen is no slouch on the surface and has several Challenger Tour titles to his name on hard courts. Expect the Swiss to prove to much for Purcell in this one.
Prediction: Laaksonen in 2
Nick Chappell vs Chun-Hsin Tseng
Head-to-head: First meeting
This one is an easy call to make. Chun-Hsin Tseng won the junior Wimbledon and French Open in 2018 and many had him touted for big things on the ATP Tour. It has taken him a couple of years to get going, but Tseng now sits inside the top 100 in the world. The former junior #1 will be looking to continue that upward trajectory with a good run in Los Cabos. His opponent, Nick Chappell, has never finished a year ranked lower than #374. The American also has no singles titles to his name at ITF level or higher. Therefore, It’s fair to say Tseng is a cut above Chappell here and that should be reflected in a one-sided affair come Monday.
Prediction: Tseng in 2
Ricardas Berankis vs Quentin Halys
The headline match on Monday should be a cracking affair. Ricardas Berankis is a quality hard court player who has carved a decent career out for himself. He’s finished a calendar year inside the top 100 0n six occasions before in his career. The Lithuanian also has 13 challenger titles to his name. Ten of those have come on hard courts, so he can never be taken lightly on this surface. In Halys he faces a rising star on the ATP Tour. The Frenchman has climbed 130 ranking spots since the end of 2020 and is an impressive 27-9 on hard courts this year. This one should go the distance, with Halys’ form in 2022 getting him over the line in the third.
Prediction: Halys in 3
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