Aside from the final qualifying round, Sunday at the 2022 ATP Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati also carries two main draw first-round matches. Maxime Cressy takes on Botic van de Zandschulp, while Mackenzie McDonald will try to make use of his wildcard against Nikoloz Basilashvili. Who do you think will prevail? We also cover two qualifying encounters.
ATP Cincinnati Day 1 Predictions
Ilya Ivashka vs Thanasi Kokkinakis
Head-to-head: Kokkinakis 1-0
This is a final qualifying round match. Thanasi Kokkinakis had an excellent start to the season, but his progress definitely slowed down in recent months. While it could have been mostly surface related, it’s not like he set the world on fire in Atlanta and Los Cabos either. Ilya Ivashka has less shotmaking ability and a simpler game, but he’ll stand up to the Australian with his brute force. He’s been playing better tennis than his opponent recently and that should show on the court.
Prediction: Ivashka in 3
Chun-Hsin Tseng vs David Goffin
Head-to-head: First meeting
This is a final qualifying round match. Chun-Hsin Tseng is struggling to establish himself in his early days of playing on the ATP Tour. The Taiwanese took out Pedro Martinez in the opening round, but will face a much tougher challenge here. While David Goffin lost in the opening round at both Montreal and Washington, he absolutely crushed Hugo Gaston in his first match at Cincinnati. The Belgian is a former runner-up of this event and loves how fast the courts are. Tseng doesn’t really have much to hurt him with.
Prediction: Goffin in 2
Mackenzie McDonald vs Nikoloz Basilashvili
Head-to-head: McDonald 2-0
Nikoloz Basilashvili took a break of almost a month following his loss to Aslan Karatsev in Hamburg. The Georgian has looked a bit lost on the court recently, but with him it’s often a matter of just one or two wins before he’s back to his optimal shape and threatening to win the tournament. However, Mackenzie McDonald seems to enjoy playing against him. They’ve already faced twice this year and Basilashvili hasn’t even gotten to a tie-break across five sets. With question marks over the Georgian’s level, McDonald is the safe choice.
Prediction: McDonald in 3
Botic van de Zandschulp vs Maxime Cressy
Head-to-head: First meeting
You can understand why the organizers chose this particular match to kick off main draw action. It’s a cracking matchup between two players who are enjoying great 2022 campaigns, really becoming household names on the ATP Tour. With both possessing big serves, one shouldn’t expect many breaks in this one. Maxime Cressy might enjoy the faster conditions in Cincinnati with his serve-and-volleying style, but we’ve got no historical confirmation as he hadn’t played here yet. Neither had Botic van de Zandschulp, who’ll have the painful duty of facing someone who completely forces you to play the game on his terms.
Prediction: Cressy in 3
Main Photo from Getty.