Opening day at the ATP Citi Open in Washington included the main tour return of Kyle Edmund as well as former No. 1 Andy Murray. The remainder of the first-round matches as well as some second-round clashes will be played out with some attractive match-ups on show. As always, we here at LWOT will preview and predict every match, split between three articles. The other two articles feature David Goffin vs Jack Sock and Nick Kyrgios vs Marcos Giron.Who do you think will win?
ATP Washington Day 2 Predictions
Sebastian Korda vs Ilya Ivashka
Head-to-head: Korda 1-0 Ivashka
Korda has shown some quality at times this season, beating Carlos Alcaraz in Montre Carlo and Felix Auger-Aliassime in Estoril, but ultimately has to be disappointed this season, not managing to progress like he was expected to. Ivashka’s season has also not been great but got the best result of his year last week in Atalanta. The Belarusian went to the semifinals in Georgia, beating Quentin Halys, Steve Johnson, and Tommy Paul. Korda won when the two faced off at the Eckental Challenger in late 2020 but it seems like it will be a tougher challenge here. I do see Korda coming out on top here though I do expect it to be close.
Prediction: Korda in 3
Dominik Koepfer vs Karen Khachanov
Head-to-head: first meeting
Koepfer has dropped out of the Top 100 for the first time in almost three years after a disappointing season for the German. The 28-year-old is 9-9 on the year but looked decent in qualifying, beating Ryan Colby and Shintaro Mochizuki. Koepfer then beat Soonwoo Kwon 6-4 in the third, getting his first ATP main draw win since Indian Wells. Khachanov lost in his second-round opener twice before in Washington but will be hoping to change that here. Koepfer is not the most formidable opponent and the Olympic silver medalist is a solid hard-courter.
Prediction: Khachanov in 2
Benjamin Bonzi vs Christopher Eubanks
Head-to-head: Bonzi 1-0 Eubanks
After having one of the best Challenger Tour seasons last year, Bonzi has had a decent 2022 as well. The Frenchman won two Challengers in Cherbourg and Aix De Provence while reaching two ATP semifinals in Marseille and Mallorca. Eubanks has lacked a deeper run this year, earning a 20-16 record. The two faced off in the second round of Newport a couple of weeks ago with Bonzi coming away a straight-set winner in that match-up. Obviously, the conditions of that tournament are quite unique but the confidence will be on the side of the Frenchman and I am leaning towards him as the winner here, being the more all-round player.
Prediction: Bonzi in 2
Kyle Edmund vs Daniel Evans
Head-to-head: Edmund 3-0 Evans
An exciting British derby will open the action on the John A. Harris Grandstand on Tuesday. Kyle Edmund made his return to tennis last week in the qualifying of the Winnipeg Challenger, beating Hady Habib and Rinky Hijikata before taking a loss to Alafia Ayeni. The 27-year-old looked in decent form considering his 21-month injury-ridden hiatus from tennis, not playing since Vienna 2020. Edmund, who made the quarterfinals here in 2019, earned a straight-set win over Yosuke Watanuki in his Washington opener, taking advantage of his protected ranking and getting precious points.
Evans has struggled for most of the season after a decent showing in Australia, winning back-to-back matches only once between February and June. The 32-year-old looked like he would revive his season on grass as he won the stacked Nottingham Challenger but Evans won only one of his next four matches, taking a tough loss at Wimbledon, winning just eight games against Jason Kubler. Edmund has won all three of their previous meetings, dropping just one set. The former No. 14 is returning from injury and Evans will be an unpleasant opponent but I see him coming through this match.
Prediction: Edmund in 3
Main Photo from Getty.