Day 3 of ATP Pune will see the top seeded players get their campaigns underway. Botic van de Zandschulp, Sebastian Baez and Emil Ruusuvuori will all be in action as they look to make a strong start to the year. As throughout the week, we will be offering up our predictions on the day’s play. So, who will advance in Pune? We also have Predictions Including Roberto Carballes Baena vs Marin Cilic.
ATP Pune Day 3 Predictions
Botic van de Zandschulp vs Flavio Cobolli
Head-to-head: First meeting
Cobolli, the young Italian qualifier, has looked good this week by not dropping a set yet. The 20 year-old has very little experience on the ATP Tour, and this will be a big step up in quality from his previous opponents. Van de Zandschulp had a pretty up-and-down 2022 after breaking through at the 2021 US Open. He’s a solid player across all surfaces, but hard courts are probably still where his best tennis lies.
Benjamin Bonzi vs Emil Ruusuvuori
This should be a really fun encounter. Bonzi had a fantastic 2021 season on the Challenger circuit, and was impressive on the ATP Tour last year. Now that the Frenchman is more used to playing against the best in the world each week, I don’t doubt we’ll see another strong rise from him. He started brilliantly against Tseng, but it’s not an easy match to follow by any means.
Emil Ruusuvuori should be in for a great year in 2023. He’s one of the purest ball-strikers on tour, and his consistency is improving all the time. He should be able to outhit Bonzi from the back of the court, but the Frenchman moves brilliantly and won’t make life easy for Emil. I can see this going the distance – both have their strengths that will benefit them but I think Ruusuvuori has a bit more in his arsenal.
Prediction: Ruusuvuori in 3
Filip Krajinovic vs Michael Mmoh
Krajinovic had was stretched to three sets in his opening round with Sumit Nagal, and it was a tough match to start the year. He’s always been a very streaky and flaky player so it’s never easy to know which version of him will turn up. When he’s on form, he can mix it with the best, but he’s also susceptible to losing to players ranked far below him.
Sebastian Baez vs Pedro Martinez
Head-to-head: 1-0 Martinez
It’s not a surface where we’d expect these two to be facing off, but that’s what intrigues me here. Baez had a brilliant 2022 season until he lost the Bastad final to Cerundolo, where his year unfortunately came off the rails with just one win in 12 matches. It’s important to remember that it was first ATP season, his hard court experience is limited, and he was given a large number of tough first round opponents. His US Open encounter with Carlos Alcaraz was all I needed to see to know that he will have success on hard courts, though.
Martinez, like Baez, is far better on clay than on hard courts. He’s a grinder and while he is tough to beat, he doesn’t possess the weapons to make himself much of a threat away from the red dirt. Baez has an incredible forehand (and one of the most underrated lobs in the men’s game), and that to me is what this match hinges on. If Baez is making his forehand and taking the game to Martinez, he should come out on top. It won’t be easy by any means as it’s his first match of the year, but I can see him starting with a win here.