The start of the 2023 ATP season is now upon is with Pune being one of the first events to kick off the year. Headlined by former US Open champion Marin Cilic there’s no doubt the Croatian will be looking to continue off his resurgent 2022 to find form for the Australian Open. We also look at the rest of the day’s matches in a different article.
ATP Pune Day 1 Predictions
Manas Manoj Dhamne vs Michael Mmoh
Perhaps a rather strange one to start these predictions with. The Indian wild card is only 15 years old and has never played a match on the Challenger Tour let alone the main ATP Tour. To make matters even worse, in the three ITF events the teenager has played he’s yet to win a set and not even come close to winning a single one. Mmoh on the other hand is a solid professional, it’s hard to see the American losing more than a few games in this one.
Prediction: Mmoh in 2
Marco Cecchinato vs Nikoloz Basilashvili
With just ten places in the rankings separating both men, this could be a fairly close match. However, the Italian’s record on hard courts is disastrous to say the least. Basilashvili, as we’ve seen in the past on hard courts, can either be a world beater or one of the worst players many have ever watched, with constant unforced errors. It’s safe to say no one has any idea which Georgian will show up but if even a half decent one does, it’s hard to imagine Cecchinato having any chance on this surface with his passive style without weapons.
Prediction: Basilashvili in 2
Chun-Hsin Tseng vs Benjamin Bonzi
Tseng’s 2022 didn’t end the way he wanted with seven back-to-back losses when on the verge of the Top 100. At 21 years of age time is most definitely on his side but this isn’t the easiest of opening matches to get things back on track in this new season. The 26 year old had a career year last year and despite a poor ending to the season as well, showed just how solid he could be on tour with semifinals in Marseilles and Mallorca, losing to Top 10 players in both. I expect this to be tight with the Frenchman edging it.
Prediction: Bonzi in 3
Alex Molcan vs Laslo Djere
Head-to-head: Molcan 1-0
Without a doubt one of the best Round 1 matches this week. With the Slovakian now ranked inside the world’s Top 50 he’s still looking for his first elusive title, something he will feel he can probably get this week. As we saw last year, when he’s on he can really be on, such as his final run in Morocco where he beat top 10 player Felix Auger-Aliassime and even Lasjo Djere in the semi-finals routinely before barely losing out in the final. There’s no doubt Molcan has potential, and now with Novak Djokovic’s former coach Marian Vajda in the box, it may just be realized.
Prediction: Molcan in 3
Main Photo from Getty.