Second round matchups continue on Day 3 of the National Bank Open pretend by Rogers, an ATP 1000 level event in Montreal, Canada. The big names will kick-start their tournaments on Wednesday, including #2 seed Carlos Alcaraz who faces Tommy Paul. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the schedule, including Daniil Medvedev vs Nick Kyrgios, Andrey Rublev vs Dan Evans and Casper Ruud vs Alex Molcan. But who will make the last 16?
ATP Montreal Day 3 Predictions
Carlos Alcaraz vs Tommy Paul
H2H: First meeting.
Carlos Alcaraz begins his North American hard court season in Montreal. There are great expectations for the Spaniard over the next few months, it will be interesting to see if he can live up to those lofty expectations. Recent defeats to Lorenzo Musetti and Jannik Sinner in back-to-back finals in Hamburg and Umag were disappointing for Alcaraz. The seconded seeded Alcaraz received a bye through the opening round this week, whilst Tommy Paul defeated Vasek Pospisil 6-4 6-4. Paul isn’t likely to be a pushover for the Spaniard, but I still expect the Spaniard to be too strong once he finds his range.
Prediction: Alcaraz in 3
Grigor Dimitrov vs Alex De Minaur
Alex Me Minaur continued his strong recent form with a hard-fought 7-5 7-6 opening round win over the Denis Shapovalov in Montreal. De Minaur claimed his sixth ATP singles title in Atlanta a few weeks ago and looks like he will be hard to beat this week. Meanwhile Grigor Dimitrov’s recent form is unspectacular and he wasn’t too convincing in a 6-4 7-5 opening round win over Alexis Galarneau. I expect De Minaur to be too solid for the Bulgarian. Dimitrov has more holes to exploit from the back of the court, De Minaur is playing well enough to make the most of this.
Prediction: De Minaur in 2
Marin Cilic vs Karen Khachanov
Karen Khachanov has already defeated Marin Cilic twice this year, he will look to make it three from three when the pair meet in Montreal on Wednesday evening. This is a very even matchup between two players with similar playing styles and abilities. Cilic’s form has generally been slightly better than Khachanov’s this season, but the Russian still heads into this match as a slight favourite. I’ll also give the slight edge to Khachanov, at this stage of their respective careers it is Khachanov who should have a small advantage in this matchup.
Prediction: Khachanov in 3
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Yoshihito Nishioka
H2H: Nishioka 3-1.
Felix Auger-Aliassime will be on upset alert when he kick-starts his Montreal campaign against Yoshihito Nishioka on Wednesday night. The sixth seeded Auger-Aliassime received a bye through the opening round in Montreal after a semifinal finish in Los Cabos last week. Meanwhile, Yoshihito Nishioka is in top form right now, the Japanese player is coming off a fantastic week in Washington where he defeated the likes of Jenson Brooksby, Alex De Minaur, Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev before succumbing to Nick Kyrgios in the championship match. Nishioka didn’t have much time to recover from a long week before starting his Montreal campaign with a 6-2 6-3 win over Benoit Paire.
Auger-Aliassime has consistently struggled in this matchup, Nishioka won the first three meetings between the pair, including a memorable win via a third set tiebreak in Indian Wells in 2019, as well as a straight set win at Roland Garros in 2020. Fatigue is a looming factor for Nishioka given how much tennis he has played of late, otherwise he would fancy his chance in this matchup. The pressure is on Auger-Aliassime as the top ranked Canadian at his home tournament, he doesn’t usually handle pressure well. The upset is on.
Prediction: Nishioka in 3
Main Photo from Getty.