Friday’s schedule at the 2023 ATP Zhuhai Championships contains four singles second-round matches. Jan-Lennard Struff and Karen Khachanov are coming back after struggling with injuries. Can they rebound by making the quarterfinals in Zhuhai?
ATP Zhuhai Day 3 Predictions
Yoshihito Nishioka vs Lloyd Harris
Head-to-head: Harris 2-0
Yoshihito Nishioka lost his first set at this event with a bagel scoreline, but managed to come back against Terence Atmane. Lloyd Harris should present a tougher challenge. The South African owns two previous wins over his opponent and while he hasn’t returned to his peak level after the injuries, he’s still a very strong server on fast hard courts like these. Small edge to Harris with Nishioka also being rather unconvincing mentally of late.
Prediction: Harris in 3
Cristian Garin vs Jan-Lennard Struff
Head-to-head: Garin 1-0
Jan-Lennard Struff is back in action after three months of inactivity. Before he had to take that break, this was by far the best season of his career. As such, we don’t really have much info in regard to his level and physical status. Cristian Garin is not a particularly terrifying opponent on hard courts, so maybe Struff can actually return to the tour pretty smoothly. Let’s say the German is a bit rusty, but manages to fight through it.
Prediction: Struff in 3
Kimmer Coppejans vs Mackenzie McDonald
Head-to-head: McDonald 3-0
The last few months have been pretty strong for Kimmer Coppejans with the Banja Luka Challenger final and a very surprising run at Wimbledon. However, the Belgian has also suffered a very disappointing loss to Khumoyun Sultanov at Davis Cup just a few days ago. Especially on a faster hard court, Mackenzie McDonald should have too much quality and attack his opponent until he’s able to break him down.
Prediction: McDonald in 2
Karen Khachanov vs Alex Bolt
Head-to-head: First meeting
Karen Khachanov has only played one match since Roland Garros, losing to Michael Mmoh in straight sets at the US Open. It wasn’t a great performance by any means, but he also landed a pretty tricky opponent with similarly attritional baseline tendencies. The Russian will need to produce a stronger level here. Alex Bolt is nowhere near his peak though and his main advantage in this matchup is having three matches in Zhuhai under his belt already, nothing else.
Prediction: Khachanov in 2
Main Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports