The top players are coming off their byes in Washington, and the draw is starting to look interesting, while the potential for upset grows. Nick Kyrgios is the only former champion in the draw, and he looked good in an easy win over Marcos Giron. Can he continue rolling and pick up his first singles title of the year, or will Washington have a new champion? See our predictions below, including for Holger Rune vs Benoit Paire. We also have predictions for Grigor Dimitrov and Hubert Hurkacz‘s matches.
ATP Washington Day 3 Predictions
Holger Rune vs Benoit Paire
Head-to-head: Rune 1-0
This is a matchup of two very struggling players. Rune is on a seven-game losing skid, and Paire only just snapped his own seven-game skid. I don’t know what’s ailing Rune, but Paire has never recovered his enjoyment of the game post-lockdowns. Paire might be nearing the end of his career anyway at age 33, and is clearly struggling with motivation, and there is no guarantee he rises from his recent slide. But Rune is too good and too dedicated to stay down for long, and a player who has won less than 20% of his matches this year is a good candidate for breaking the slump.
Prediction: Rune in 3
Taylor Fritz vs Alexei Popyrin
Head-to-head: first meeting
This is not a fortuitous draw for Popyrin. He was gifted a qualifier in the first round, which helped him stop a small losing skid, but Taylor Fritz has been on fire recently. The top American player has taken a breather these last few weeks, but he is coming off a quarterfinal at Wimbledon, and before that a title at Eastbourne. He also collected a hard court title at Indian Wells earlier this year, and is at the top of his form. The question with him is always health, but presumably the time off has gotten him feeling 100%, and he should overpower Popyrin and cruise into Round 3.
Prediction: Fritz in 2
Denis Shapovalov vs J.J. Wolf
Head-to-head: first meeting
J.J. Wolf has just reached his career high of 99, but he has not actually played very well over the last month, and he faces a stiff test in Shapovalov. The Canadian has not played well recently either, but he is back on his best surface and should be motivated to get back on track. Wolf has collected five hard court titles on the Challenger circuit, and could put up a fight, but this match looks more like a stepping stone for Shapovalov to put himself aright than for Wolf to make a splash.
Prediction: Shapovalov in 2
Nick Kyrgios vs Tommy Paul
Head-to-head: Kyrgios 1-0
Motivated Nick Kyrgios is a formidagble opponent, and both his motivation and success continue to roll on this year. He is not only coming off of the Wimbledon final, but he just secured another doubles title with good friend Thanasi Kokkinakis in Atlanta. Tommy Paul, for his part, has been doing fine recently, including victories over Jannik Sinner and Denis Shapovalov in the last couple months. He has sixteen wins on hard court this year (double Kyrgios), and he shouldn’t be lost amid the hype of Kyrgios’ resurgence. But I think this one will go the way of their clay meeting in Houston earlier this year.
Prediction: Kyrgios in 2