It’s been four years but we finally have ourselves an ATP Masters 1000 in Shanghai once more. Apart from Novak Djokovic, there are very few top ranked players missing the event so it’s no surprise we have stacked matches from the word go. We’ve looked to predict some of those matches on the first day of main draw action in China.
ATP Shanghai Day 2 Predictions
Corentin Moutet vs Mackenzie McDonald
Head-to-head: First meeting
For all of Corentin Moutet’s talent (see his ability to hit one-handed backhands whilst his right hand is injured), he doesn’t really have the weaponry to win matches consistently at ATP level. The serve lets him down in particular, allowing his opponents a look in every service game.
Mackenzie McDonald may be similar in stature but his weaponry is far more polished. Of course, Moutet is capable of bringing out the worst in his opponents but we still think McDonald is the safer bet.
Prediction: McDonald in 3
Aleksandr Kovacevic vs Cristian Garin
Head-to-head: First meeting
It’s been a brutal fall for Cristian Garin. From #17 in the world in 2021, Garin now sits at #99. The good news for Garin is that his matches are still close; the bad news is he’s not actually notching many wins. There’s a confidence issue prevalent in the tighter moments of his encounters that’s really stopping him gaining any momentum.
Aleksandr Kovacevic is a caliber of player that the Garin of old would have pipped to the post in a fairly close match. We think the current Garin will also keep it close but Illinois’s top player will have the bigger shots in the bigger moments.
Prediction: Kovacevic in 3
Fabio Fognini vs Thanasi Kokkinakis
Head-to-head: Kokkinakis 3-0 Fognini
This isn’t a difficult decision. Fabio Fognini has done well to get a wild card into the main draw but his hard court form is far from suitable for a Masters 1000 event. He last won a hard court match against a very young Arthur Fils back in October last year. In fact, for the last five months or so, he’s generally opted to play clay Challenger tournaments to gain some momentum.
Since that last hard court win, Thanasi Kokkinakis actually beat the Italian in Australia for the loss of five games. Given the amount of time without a hard court match and the poor form in general, we’re not even expecting Fognini to light up long enough to get a set.
Prediction: Kokkinakis in 2
Stan Wawrinka vs Dusan Lajovic
Head-to-head: Wawrinka 2-0 Lajovic
A loss in three tiebreaks to Marcos Giron in Astana? Hardly a bad defeat as Stan Wawrinka continues to show that when he’s fresh and ready at tournaments, he is as dangerous as ever. Despite sustaining that loss, Wawrinka is still a very healthy 12-3 in first rounds at tournaments this year, packing a punch that most can’t handle when the Swiss’s energy levels are at full capacity.
Dusan Lajovic can be sneaky consistent on a hard court but we still think it’s the kind of match-up Wawrinka will be more than capable of taking charge of with his ferocious groundstrokes.
Prediction: Wawrinka in 2
Main Photo Credit: Jonathan Hui-USA TODAY Sports