After the WTA 1000 in Dubai came to a close, the ATP 500 event at the same venue kicks off. It’s Day 2 of proceedings and there are plenty of exciting matches to sink our teeth into with top 100 players Mikael Ymer, Hubert Hurkacz, Felix Auger-Aliassime, and Maxime Cressy in action. As always at LWOT, we’ve tried to predict some of the outcomes. In addition to this article, we have two others today. One features Karen Khachanov vs Botic Van De Zandschulp, and the second features Novak Djokovic vs Tomas Machac. Who do you think will win?
ATP Dubai Day 2 Predictions
Francesco Passaro vs Mikael Ymer
Head-to-head: First meeting
Attention was drawn to Francesco Passaro after his flashy performance at the Next Gen ATP Finals. He put on a good show but ultimately flagged against the established players in the draw, Brandon Nakashima and Jiri Lehecka. The Italian has plenty of talent and finesse but it remains to be seen whether he has the toolbox to excel on the ATP–he is still working on creating at least one huge weapon in his arsenal.
Chances are Mikael Ymer will be able to take advantage of this. He has been on a twelve match winning streak against players ranked outside of the top 100 and is at a career-high ranking of #59. His athleticism and raw power from the ground make him an incredibly tough ask for players that can’t plant a seed of doubt with their shots. Passaro will struggle here.
Prediction: Ymer in 2
Hubert Hurkacz vs Alexander Shevchenko
Head-to-head: First meeting
Talk about a lucky loser. Alexander Shevchenko was given the last spot in the draw due to Andy Murray’s withdrawal and has been drawn against Hubert Hurkacz who might be puffed out after winning in Marseilles last week.
Even though he’s won a title recently, this is still a pretty tough ask. Quick courts will allow the Pole to avoid expending much energy. He’ll be willing to wait for a drop in level on Shevchenko’s serve and, given the pressure to hold in Shevchenko’s first match against a top 50 player, Hurkacz will probably be rewarded for his patience. A set might even go Shevchenko’s way with Hurkacz potentially flagging, but we’ll back the world #11 over three sets.
Prediction: Hurkacz in 3
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Maxime Cressy
Head-to-head: Cressy 1-0 Auger-Aliassime
Felix Auger-Aliassime will be looking for vengeance after Maxime Cressy knocked him out of Wimbledon last year–he certainly could achieve that here in Dubai. There’s no reason why Auger-Aliassime doesn’t get a few more looks at a break of serve than he did at SW19 and he’s arguably slightly more comfortable now than he was then behind his own first serve.
At the end of the day though, Cressy will mainly be in control of his own serve so there may be very little the Canadian can do. As always with against the serve-and-volleyer, it’ll be tight. But we’ll trust in the fact Auger-Aliassime’s level is incrementally improving with each passing week on the tour.
Prediction: Auger-Aliassime in 3
Main Photo Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports