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ATP Astana Day 1 Predictions Including Alexander Shevchenko vs Botic van de Zandschulp

Botic van De Zandschulp US OPEN

The ATP Astana Open returns after a successful edition last year. The draw may not have some of the blockbuster names of last year, but there are still many exciting players to watch over the next week. Three main draw matches are scheduled on the opening day. We at LWOT predict those matches in this article, in addition to one intriguing qualifying match taking place. Which players do you think will win?

ATP Astana Open Day 1 Predictions

Taro Daniel vs Sho Shimabukro (Qualifying)

Head-to-head: First meeting

There is only four years between the 30-year-old Daniel and the 26-year-old Sho Shimabukro, but it feels like they are at very different career stages. Daniel is just inside the Top 100 currently, and has been around the main draws of ATP tournaments for a long time. His 12-14 win/loss record is indicative of his solid career, built on a scrapping style of play. Shimabukro is currently #148 in the world, but that is just two places below his career high. It has been his best season to date. And I think it will get even better here with another qualifying win at the ATP Astana Open. Daniel has experience on his side, but the fast conditions in Astana suit the bigger-hitting Shimabukro more in this matchup.
Prediction: Shimabukro in 3

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Mikhail Kukushkin vs Nuno Borges

Head-to-head: First meeting

35-year-old Kukushkin is far past his prime, and sits outside the Top 200. Nonetheless, this still has the potential to be tricky for Borges. Kukushkin will have a passionate home crowd behind him, and the conditions at the ATP Astana Open are also suited to his very aggressive style of play. He has little to lose, and can swing freely. Borges also has not been performing as well as earlier in the season, when he reached a career-high ranking. Overall though, the greater consistency and movement of Borges is likely to prevail. But Kukushkin winning a set would be unsurprising.
Prediction: Borges in 3

Hamad Medjedovic vs Laslo Djere

Head-to-head: Djere 1-0 Medjedovic

This is Djere’s first match since his five-set loss to Novak Djokovic at the US Open. His countryman is ranked outside the Top 100. However, he did win his third Challenger Tour event on the hard courts in Mallorca a few weeks ago. Nonetheless, Medjedovic has been far more comfortable on clay throughout his career. That is the surface most responsible for his rise in the rankings. Djere also has a preference for clay, but has better hard court credentials overall. Expect him to be too consistent for his compatriot at the ATP Astana Open.
Prediction: Djere in 2

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Alexander Shevchenko vs Botic van de Zandschulp

Head-to-head: First meeting

Hopefully van de Zandschulp is fully fit for this match. He returned in Winston-Salem and the US Open after being out for nearly two months with an injury. But he has not competed since his loss at Flushing Meadows nearly a month ago. Shevchenko’s level can fluctuate wildly during matches and tournaments, although he is only two places below his career high ranking at #85. I think he will beat the slightly higher ranked Dutchman. Van de Zandschulp had been in the midst of a mostly difficult year before his injury. Also, the fast conditions are likely to suit the ultra-aggressive style of Shevchenko. That might tip this matchup in his favor at the ATP Astana Open.
Prediction: Shevchenko in 3

Main Photo Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports


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