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ATP Zhuhai Day 2 Predictions Including Andy Murray vs Ye Cong Mo

Andy Murray in action ahead of the ATP Washington Open.

Nine matches are on the slate on Day 2 of the ATP Zhuhai Championships. Former World No. 1 Andy Murray will be the main star attraction in a jam-packed Thursday, which also includes an intriguing matchup between Matteo Arnaldi–fresh from guiding Italy to the Davis Cup Final eight–and Aslan Karatsev. Who will reach the second round?

ATP Zhuhai Day 2 Predictions

Matteo Arnaldi vs Aslan Karatsev

Head-to-head: first meeting

Matteo Arnaldi was handed a surprise first-time call-up into Italy’s Davis Cup team this past week. The absences of key figures such as Matteo Berrettini and Fabio Fognini meant that Italy’s chances of qualifying for the Final eight rested on their proteges. And Arnaldi duly delivered, winning the decisive singles tie against Sweden to send his country to Malaga. But he’ll need to switch his attention to Tour-level action. Having just broken the world’s Top 50, the 22-year-old can continue to climb greater heights during the final two months of the season. But this matchup has probably come too quickly for his liking, with such a small window for recuperating and traveling. A well-rested Karatsev will likely have the edge in this one.
Prediction: Karatsev in 3

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Alex Bolt vs Diego Schwartzman

Head-to-head: first meeting

Alex Bolt snapped a four-match losing streak in the Zhuhai qualifying rounds, beating Lorenzo Giustino and Antoine Bellier. The Australian, ranked outside the world’s Top 300, is bristling with positivity again after a turbulent 2022 season. Bolt missed six months nursing a serious arm injury last year, but he’s been chipping away at his ranking on the ITF Tour since his comeback. Getting to the main draw on the ATP Tour must feel like a victory in itself because he has done just once in 2023 before this week.

His opponent, Diego Schwartzman, has had a train wreck of a season. Having started the year ranked in the world’s Top 30, the Argentine has been in freefall and has a three-digit ranking attached to his name. The number of matches he has won this year is countable by both hands.  Bolt’s aggression and offense could worry Schwartzman, but his game is still not stable. The Argentine will have control of his destiny, which is so rare these days.
Prediction: Schwartzman in 3

Alexandre Muller vs Rinky Hijikata

Head-to-head: Hijikata 1-0 Muller

Hijikata defeated Muller in their only meeting in Wimbledon qualifying last year. But the Frenchman has made huge strides since that defeat. He added a second Challenger title to his trophy cabinet, broke the ATP Top 100 for the first time, and reached his first ATP final in Marrakech. While it could be argued he is at his best on clay courts, Muller’s game is adaptable to all surfaces. He is an impressive 18-10 on hard courts in all competitions this season. Hijikata has enjoyed a fine season himself, rising to a career-high ranking of #72 after his latest run to the Challenger final in Cary. But maybe he invested too much energy-wise this past week and could struggle to control the Frenchman’s heavier ground game.
Prediction: Muller in 3

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Andy Murray vs Ye Cong Mo

Head-to-head: first meeting

Murray has won three Challenger titles this year, but none at Tour level. He came close in Doha earlier this season but was operating on an empty tank in the final. He’ll definitely fancy his chances in Zhuhai being the most experienced and decorated player in the draw. And if he was looking for a comfortable opener to ease his way into the tournament, then this is it. Ye Cong Mo is a 23-year-old Chinese wild card set to make his ATP main draw debut. With a ranking of 668, this feels like a complete mismatch, but nevertheless a wonderful opportunity for the home hope to learn from a three-time Grand Slam champion.
Prediction: Murray in 2

Main Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


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