It’s been four years, but we finally have ourselves an ATP Masters 1000 in Shanghai once more. A packed draw, featuring the best of the best promises to deliver a bag full of entertainment and, as always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate, including Aleksandar Vukic vs Roberto Carballes Baena and Alexei Popyrin vs Matteo Arnaldi. Who will make the next round?
ATP Shanghai Day 2 Predictions
Pavel Kotov vs Arthur Fils
Head-to-Head: First meeting
Both players will view this match as a good opportunity to get back to winning ways. Kotov lost in the round of 16 in Chengdu in a tight three setter against Alexander Zverev but was unable to make it past the qualifying rounds in Beijing last week. Arthur Fils hasn’t played a main draw match since his second round exit at the US Open. Two losses at the Davis Cup and Laver Cup have been his only post US Open appearances but the French teenager should fancy his chance here.
Prediction: Kotov in 3
Nuno Borges vs Gregoire Barrere
Head-to-Head: First meeting
The first time opponents in this contest both lost in the first round in Astana last week. The fast courts, combined with the booming serve that Gregoire Barrere is able to produce at times should give the French man a slight advantage here if he is able to play to his best level. Nuno Borges should keep things close but expect Barrere to win in the end.
Prediction: Barrere in 3
Alexander Shevchenko vs Chun-Hsin Tseng
Tseng Chun-Hsin’s back to back wins in qualifying should give him a bit of confidence and momentum going into this match, coupled with the fact that he won the lastest meeting between them although it came on clay which is arguably his opponent’s best surface. Alexander Shevchenko for his part would be looking to turn things around after a dismal display in the first round in Astana last week. The conditions in Shanghai are slightly different as the courts have historically played faster than most hard courts on tour.
Prediction: Tseng in 2
Aslan Karatsev vs Quinton Halys
Aslan Karatsev’s strong performances have been few and far between this season but he seemed to pick up pace last time out in Zhuhai where he enjoyed a rare strong week, stunning second seed Cam Norrie to reach the semi-finals after grinding out wins against Matteo Arnaldi and Andy Murray. The 30-year-old set a career-high ATP world ranking of 14th early last season and he is still occasionally capable of that level, as April’s run to the semifinals of the Madrid Masters attests to, but consistency and confidence appear to be his main issues. World #70 Quentin Halys has enjoyed his best season on tour with some herculean efforts against the likes of Novak Djokovic and Jannik Sinner ending in tight defeats. The 26-year-old brings a three-match losing streak into his Shanghai debut–five defeats on the spin including Challenger events–he would need to quickly stem that tide if he is to have a chance against Karatsev who is hoping to avoid an early exit and build on the momentum from his run at Zhuhai.
Prediction: Karatsev in 3
Main Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports