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ATP Montpellier Day 4 Predictions Including Holger Rune vs Pablo Llamas Ruiz

Holger Rune in action ahead of the ATP Acapulco Open.

There are some fascinating contests taking place on the fourth day of the ATP 250 event in Montpellier. Two-time Masters runner-up in 2023 Holger Rune makes his first appearance since the Australian Open and Felix Auger-Aliassime is also in action. Five round-of-16 matches are taking place, and as always, we at LWOT give our predictions for all of those contests. Which players do you think will reach the quarterfinals in France?

ATP Montpellier Day 4 Predictions

Alexander Shevchenko vs Gregoire Barrere

Head-to-head: First meeting

Neither player was entirely convincing in the last round, but they managed to prevail nonetheless. Shevchenko battled through in three sets against Dalibor Svrcina, while Barrere came back from a set down in his match with Ugo Blanchet. Both men can be very inconsistent and their level fluctuates a lot. Shevchenko possesses the greater firepower of the two with his flat forehand. The relatively slow conditions in Montpellier will allow Barrere to get a lot of balls back into play, but Shevchenko still gets a slight edge. His extra power to hit through the slow court could end up making the difference.
Prediction: Shevchenko in 3

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Borna Coric vs Pedro Martinez

Head-to-head: First meeting

Coric returned at the start of the season after a long injury, and there have been positive signs for the Croat. He was competitive in his Australian Open loss to Frances Tiafoe, before reaching a final at a Challenger Tour event last week. Martinez will test Coric physically in this encounter. There is likely to be a lot of long rallies, and Coric will need to pick the right moment to attack in the slow Montpellier conditions. It may suit the Spaniard more if the match goes to a third set, but Coric’s superior natural talent from the baseline will take him through if he is near his best.
Prediction: Coric in 2

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Flavio Cobolli vs Constant Lestienne

Head-to-head: Cobolli 1-0 Lestienne

Cobolli was very impressive against Gael Monfils. After losing a high-quality first set narrowly on a tiebreak, the Italian raised his level even further to win 6-7 6-3 6-0. His forehand was particularly formidable and can be one of the very best in the game when it is fully firing. The crafty Lestienne has a real challenge on his hands. He will need to use variety, which he is capable of, and the home crowd will try to help the Frenchman. However, expect Cobolli to reach the quarterfinals in Montpellier. It is unlikely that Lestienne’s defence is consistently good enough to handle the Italian’s forehand.
Prediction: Cobolli in 2

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Arthur Cazaux vs Felix Auger-Aliassime

Head-to-head: First meeting

This should be a very entertaining encounter. Both men are powerful on serve and from the baseline. Despite the slow conditions in Montpellier, this could still come down to just a few points. Cazaux’s form at the Australian Open shocked the world of tennis and he was excellent in his first-round match again. A positive for Auger-Aliassime is that he usually plays his best tennis indoors, although the Canadian does prefer faster hard courts. This is likely to be tight, but Cazaux gets a slight edge. The Frenchman has the momentum, and it is difficult to trust Auger-Aliassime because of how inconsistent he has been for 12 months.
Prediction: Cazaux in 3

Holger Rune vs Pablo Llamas Ruiz

Head-to-head: First meeting

This is Rune’s first match since it was announced that his partnership with Severin Luthi had ended after just two months. Regardless of how he is feeling after that, he needs a response after his shock Australian Open loss to Cazaux in the second-round. Llamas Ruiz will not make it easy. He did well to come through in two tight sets against last year’s Auckland champion Richard Gasquet, although the 37-year-old was unwell before the match, and not at his best. The Spaniard will need an even better performance against Ruiz, but it is unlikely he will have enough. This is a good draw for Rune to get back on track.
Prediction: Rune in 2

Main Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

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