ATP Antwerp Day 3 Predictions Including Hubert Hurkacz vs Jack Draper

Jack Draper in action at the ATP Antwerp Open.

In a week where most eyes in the tennis world have been glued to the organisational mess at the 250 in Napoli this week, Antwerp is crying out for attention. The European Open offers not only a 42-year-old Xavier Malisse competing alongside Diego Schwartzman in the doubles competition but also a number of exciting singles match-ups. As always, we here at LWOT will preview and predict every match, including Michael Geerts vs Dominic Thiem. But who will advance?

ATP Antwerp Day 3 Predictions

Manuel Guinard vs Geoffrey Blancaneaux

Head-to-head: first meeting

Two Frenchmen, who ply their trade mostly on the Challenger Tour, with mixed results this season enter the draw as lucky losers, particularly lucky as they get to play each other for a main tour win. Guinard had a promising start to the clay-court season with a title at Roseto Degli Abruzzi and runs at Lyon 250 and Challenger in June. The 26-year-old would not get back-to-back wins again until Gijon last week, reaching the second round as a qualifier without a particularly impressive win. This week, Guinard defeated Filip Horansky before losing to Jesper De Jong.

Blancaneaux has found some good form earlier in the fall, getting a couple of wins in US Open qualifying before reaching the semifinals at Istanbul Challenger. The 24-year-old did have a tougher time in October though, retiring from a first-round match in Alicante and losing to Valentin Royer last week. In Antwerp, Blancaneaux beat Ruben Bemelmans, who announced that this would be his last year on tour earlier this season before losing to Luca Van Assche. Neither player is likely to make a big impact in this draw, but Guinard’s game as his game suits indoor hard more.

Prediction: Guinard in 2
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Dominic Stricker vs Richard Gasquet

Head-to-head: first meeting

Battle of generations here with the 20-year-old Stricker coming up against a 36-year-old Gasquet. The young Swiss has had a season of ups and downs, winning two Challenger titles in Zug and Cleveland but suffering a couple of disappointing losses to Abdellah Shelbayh and Borna Gojo earlier this fall. Stricker is hoping to get back on track on European indoor hard and has looked good so far in Antwerp. After qualifying, the 20-year-old has pulled off an upset over Botic van de Zandschulp in the main draw.

2016 Antwerp champion Gasquet has broken a streak of three straight first-round losses here in Belgium with a highly-entertaining comeback win against Stan Wawrinka, saving three match points in the process. The Frenchman’s season has been perfectly mediocre, not reaching a single ATP or Challenger final but also not suffering back-to-back first-round losses until October. If Gasquet can bring his form from the last match, this should be a very exciting match-up. Lean slightly towards Stricker here but it is a tight call.

Prediction: Stricker in 3
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Hubert Hurkacz vs Jack Draper

Head-to-head: first meeting

While Hurkacz has to be disappointed with his slam performances this season, reaching past the second round just once, the Pole can be satisfied with his season overall. The World No. 11 reached the final of Montreal, won Halle, and made the semifinals in Miami while reaching later rounds at most events he has played in 2022. For Draper, 2022 has been a breakout year. The young Brit dominated the Challenger Tour on indoor hard early, winning four titles by the first week of April before continuing to bring his game on the main tour.

Draper reached the quarterfinals of Montreal as a qualifier, beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the process, and had a run to the semifinals in Eastbourne. The 20-year-old will be looking to finish the season strong on indoor hard, likely his best surface, and hope to replicate his Challenger Tour success. Draper showed good signs in a dominant 6-1 6-2 win over Jenson Brooksby in his opener. Hurkacz’s form has not been great this autumn so far and Draper may well be able to take out the top seed here.

Prediction: Draper in 2

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