The ATP Astana Open is here and the lineup looks promising, to say the least. To get to the most enticing match-ups however, some of our top-seeds will have to survive stern tests. Today we’re predicting whether or not Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, and Daniil Medvedev can make it passed the first hurdle.
ATP Astana Open Day 2 Predictions
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina vs Pavel Kotov
Head-to-head: First meeting.
Pavel Kotov is a very scrappy player. Finding a way passed him can be difficult – this has earned him titles in San Morino and Forli and more frequent appearances at the ATP level. He has the power to punish opponents for playing too passively as well, his game becoming more and more refined as he teeters on breaching the cusp of the top-100 for the first time.
Does that game style sound familiar? Alejandro Davidovich Fokina has all of these traits to his game but at a higher level, his game able to trouble the very best in the world on his day regardless of the surface. Kotov is too good to go down without a fight but Davidovich Fokina shouldn’t be in trouble here.
Prediction: Davidovich Fokina in 2
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Mikhail Kukushkin
Head-to-head: Tsitsipas 3-0 Kukushkin
With all due respect to the Kazakhstani, it looks as though Mikhail Kukushkin is on the way out. He currently sits outside the top-200 and he’s gone just 1-9 at ATP level in 2022. His game remains as tricky as ever however, he’s perhaps just lacking a few cheap service points or a little movement from the back of the court that he used to possess.
Stefanos Tsitsipas has plenty of positives to draw going into this match-up. A 3-0 head-to-head against a vet at the twilight of his career and the Greek sports the second-most wins of the season. Kukushkin’s flat backhand can be tricky for some but Tsitsipas is actually fairly well equipped to deal with it – his backhand has plenty of spin to deal with the low trajectory of the ball and his slice is steadily improving, built for making it tough for Kukushkin to dig out this shot. Though their sets have been close, all the advantages fall in Tsitsipas’s favour.
Prediction: Tsitsipas in 2
Daniil Medvedev vs Albert Ramos-Vinolas
Head-to-head: Medvedev 1-0 Ramos-Vinolas
This is a good match-up for Daniil Medvedev.
- Albert Ramos-Vinolas doesn’t have the weaponry to beat Medvedev in the serve or return battle. His lefty serve is effective against players with lesser backhands but Medvedev’s deep return position and quality on this wing give him the ability to neutralise this shot.
- Ramos-Vinolas has the option to pin other players into the ad-court. Medvedev is happy to trade all day in this dynamic and can normally find the quality required to tip the scales of the point in his favour.
- Ramos-Vinolas’s weapons are more suited to clay. Nonetheless, the two previous advantages allowed Medvedev to win in Barcelona earlier this year.
There are a lot of factors falling the way of the Russian. It all comes down to whether or not Medvedev can play a run-of-the-mill match against the Spaniard. Medvedev’s form has been very up and down recently and he’s shown signs of weakness in the bigger moments. Ramos-Vinolas would do well to allow Medvedev to dictate play, to test whether or not the confidence is still there. Put returns back in play, ask the question of Medvedev over and over… Medvedev should have too much overall but we think it won’t come easily.
Prediction: Medvedev in 3
Main Photo from Getty.