Day 3 of the ATP ATP Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati concludes a lengthy Round 1, a round in which things have proceeded mostly as expected. The highlight may have been a vintage three-setter between Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka, which saw the former just edge out a victory. The lack of upsets mean the draw still looks really good, and there are some great matchups ahead.
ATP Cincinnati Day 3 Predictions
Dan Evans vs Filip Krajinovic
This match might feel to people like a matchup of middling players, but Dan Evans is playing very well right now. He is near his career high at #23 in the world after an excellent run to the semis in Montreal, where he beat not only Krajinovic but also Taylor Fritz and Andrey Rublev. Krajinovic’s record looks mediocre on paper (he’s at about .500 in wins overall and wins on hard court), but other than the recent loss to Evans, his last five losses have been to Alcaraz, Kyrgios, Berrettini, Felix, and Jannik Sinner. Those are tough draws, and otherwise he has had some good wins these last few months. So I think he can make a game of it; but I have to go with Evans on the strength of his recent play.
Prediction: Evans in 3
Alex de Minaur vs Henri Laaksonen
Head-to-head: de Minaur 1-0
Alex de Minaur has played well of late, winning Atlanta and then, after a quick exit in Washington, beating two Top 20 players before falling to the mighty Nick Kyrgios. He is 34-18 on the season, and 18-8 on hard courts. Laaksonen has struggled, and has spent some of the year on the Challenger tour, and is 0-6 in his last six matches. His win percentage on hard is twenty percentage points below the Aussie’s, and de Minaur should speed his way through to Round 2.
Prediction: de Minaur in 2
Pablo Carreno Busta vs Miomir Kecmanovic
Head-to-head: first meeting
The big question surrounding this match is whether Pablo Carreno Busta will suffer any fatigue or lack of focus after winning his first Masters 1000 title in Montreal. He had an excellent run that included wins over Matteo Berrettini, Jannik Sinner, and Hubert Hurkacz, and is four places away from his career high of #10 in the world. Kecmanovic has an almost identical record as Carreno Busta this year, both overall and on hard courts, but his success largely came earlier in the year, and he has been mediocre of late. He can play at a high level, though, and I wonder about the Spaniard’s turnaround time from Montreal, but I have to go with the latter on the strength of recent matches.
Prediction: Carreno Busta in 3
Carlos Alcaraz vs Mackenzie McDonald
Head-to-head: Alcaraz 1-0
Most of Carlos Alcaraz’s tournaments this year have ended in the late rounds or the finals, including two recent final appearances. Getting knocked out early in Montreal will likely make him hungry, and McDonald’s normal level should not present much of a challenge. The American is struggling this year with a sub-.500 win percentage, and he won’t be encouraged to know that Alcaraz’s win percentage on hard court is almost thirty points higher than his own. This should be a repeat of their Indian Wells meeting earlier this year.
Prediction: Alcaraz in 2
Main Photo from Getty.