After an exciting week at the ATP Chengdu, we’re left with only two players squaring off in the final. Perhaps a surprising finalist, Roman Safiullin was able to take out Evans, Musetti, Thompson, and Nakashima without dropping a set. On the other side of the net, Alexander Zverev is into his 32nd ATP final, taking out Kotov, Kecmanovic, and Dimitrov in hard-fought matches. Will power outweigh experience? Here’s our prediction for the Chengdu final.
ATP Chengdu Final Prediction
Alexander Zverev vs Roman Safiullin
Head-to-head: Zverev 1-0 Safiullin
Roman Safiullin is into the first final of his career. There was always a feeling that the Russian could put this kind of run together. Similarly to his compatriot Aslan Karatsev, Safiullin knocks the stuffing off the ball and can reach peaks that can be difficult for even the best in the world to deal with. There is a reason Safiullin’s ranking has forever floated outside of the top 40, however. He is generally just a little too hot and cold to actually beat the best in the world. His match against Novak Djokovic last year in Tel Aviv was a great example. When it came to a crunch tiebreak in the second set, Safiullin couldn’t put his biggest shots into the court.
We suspect a similar pattern will follow in his match against Alexander Zverev. The German generally finds an exceptional base level in finals and will be more than happy to sustain the onslaught of Safiullin in the knowledge that he will eventually dip. Zverev’s 7-2 record in 250 finals speaks for itself really. Safiullin will light up for a period of the match, perhaps even enough to take a set, but ultimately the less accomplished player won’t have the consistency to damage the defensive counterpunching abilities of the former world #2. Expect Zverev to win at the ATP Chengdu for his first hardcourt title since Nov. 2021.
Prediction: Zverev in 3
Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane – USA TODAY Sports