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ATP Dubai Day 1 Predictions Including Denis Shapovalov vs Andy Murray

Andy Murray in action ahead of the ATP Dubai Tennis Championships.

Action at the ATP Dubai Tennis Championships gets underway on Monday with seven first-round matches and, as always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match, including Zhang Zhizhen vs Andrey Rublev. But who will book their place in the second round in the UAE?

ATP Dubai Day 1 Predictions

Pavel Kotov vs Sebastian Korda

Head-to-head: Kotov 1-0 Korda

Sebastian Korda has some incredible patches and individual performances, but for the most part this year we’ve just seen mediocrity and lack of self-belief. Definitely nothing of the quality that saw him become the hottest prospect on the planet in January last year. While he’s probably the favourite here over Pavel Kotov, the Russian has made plenty of progress to stabilize on the main tour and Korda right now just doesn’t make you feel like he’s sure to get anything done comfortably.

Prediction: Korda in 3

Tallon Griekspoor vs Abdullah Shelbayh

Head-to-head: first meeting

Abdullah Shelbayh is getting plenty of these opportunities and never really looks outmatched, even though at this stage of his career it’s not easy for him to regularly beat much weaker competition than this. Lots of that is on his playstyle, which is both tricky and tough to repeat. The question is whether he’ll be able to unleash that court craft against someone with the serve+forehand combo of Tallon Griekspoor on a quick court. One thing is certain, the Jordanian is not the favorite here.

Prediction: Griekspoor in 2

Hubert Hurkacz vs Jan-Lennard Struff

Head-to-head: Struff 2-1 Hurkacz

Jan-Lennard Struff leads the head-to-head, but their 2016 Davis Cup meeting probably isn’t too relevant. They still went 1-1 last year though and this should be a very serve-based matchup most of the time. Interestingly the last time they played, Hubert Hurkacz ran away with it very quickly. His serving was unbeatable that day and he was even putting plenty of returns in play, while Struff couldn’t keep 2-3 balls inside the court. More focus from the German and this likely becomes a tricky, somewhat random match.

Prediction: Hurkacz in 3

Denis Shapovalov vs Andy Murray

Head-to-head: Shapovalov 1-1 Murray

Denis Shapovalov and Andy Murray have both only picked up one main draw win last year. The Brit did it recently in Doha and almost fought through Jakub Mensik as well, but it’s clear he’s not getting any closer to a level that could help him contend for titles again. Meanwhile, Shapovalov is just coming back after an injury and things should be improving for him with time spent on the court. His trajectory should start trending upwards sometime soon again, maybe already here.

Prediction: Shapovalov in 3

Main photo credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


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