As the WTA tournament in Doha ends, the ATP tournament at the same venue kicks off. From last week, we know the conditions are likely to be heavy and blustery which could benefit a few of the players in our latest list of predictions. We share our thoughts on the second day of matches.
ATP Doha Day 2 Predictions
Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Alexandre Muller
Head-to-head: First meeting
Beware the battle-hardened qualifier. Alexandre Muller came through two extremely tight qualifying matches against quality opponents in Doha, saving a match point along the way.
Meanwhile, Nikoloz Basilashvili has been losing more and more confidence–his first serve seems to have lost all its potency and should be exposed by the slower conditions here. With Basilashvili already having lost in these conditions this week, Muller has the advantage.
Prediction: Muller in 3
Abedallah Shelbayh vs Soon-woo Kwon
Head-to-head: First meeting
Abedallah Shelbayh is an up and coming 19-year-old that recently took advantage of a wild-card in Manama. He was able to put together a run to the final there putting on a superb performance against Jason Kubler that shows he could be contesting for the top 150 in the world sooner rather than later.
Though Soon-woo Kwon fits a similar player type to Kubler from the ground, his serve is actually a lot more potent than most would expect. The recent Adelaide champion should do enough to keep himself alive against a player with nothing to lose.
Prediction: Kwon in 2
Damir Dzumhur vs Jiri Lehecka
Head-to-head: 1-1 (all levels)
If it wasn’t clear before his Australian Open quarterfinal run, it’s pretty clear now–Jiri Lehecka is going to be an ATP star. If the courts in Doha were a little quicker, Damir Dzumhur might have been able to keep things a bit more balanced on serve but, the more time Lehecka is afforded to wind up that terrifying forehand, the more of a skill gap he can create between himself and lower-ranked players.
Dzumhur will be fighting an uphill battle against a player whose game is looking more and more refined with each passing week.
Prediction: Lehecka in 2
Ilya Ivashka vs Botic Van De Zandschulp
Head-to-head: Van De Zandschulp 1-0 Ivashka
Is Ilya Ivashka in a slump? He’s lost his last seven matches but has managed to keep them fairly close. The nature of the losses suggests Ivashka’s game is still there but his performance under pressure has wavered which can happen as a player loses momentum.
He’ll keep things close against Botic Van De Zandschulp. The Dutchman has so many options at his disposal however and should be able to find ways to navigate the tougher moments of the match. Ivashka will be left continuing to find a way out of the slump.
Prediction: Van De Zandschulp in 3
Main Photo Credit: David Kirouac USAToday Sports