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ATP Acapulco Day 3 Predictions Including Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Flavio Cobolli

Stefanos Tsitsipas in action ahead of the ATP Acapulco Open.

After top seed Alexander Zverev fell to a shock first-round defeat, the ATP Acapulco Open is looking wide open. There are second-round matches on the slate on day three and, as ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate, including Holger Rune vs Aleksandar Kovacevic. But who will book their spot in the second round?

ATP Acapulco Day 3 Predictions

Jack Draper vs Yoshihito Nishioka

Head-to-head: first meeting

A top 20 breakthrough is on Jack Draper’s mind this season. And the Britsh lefty has re-entered the top 50 in the live rankings. When fit and firing, Draper is a player capable of doing a lot more damage in the draw. He supplied plentiful evidence of that in dismantling World #14 Tommy Paul 6-4 6-0. Yoshihito Nishioka is making the most of his second chance as a lucky loser, upsetting Nuno Borges in the opening round. But it would be a surprise were to prove a match for the free-swinging southpaw from Sutton.

Prediction: Draper in 2

Frances Tiafoe vs Dominik Koepfer

Head-to-head: first meeting

Frances Tiafoe has coped with a lot of criticism for a while now, and you wonder whether it has impacted some of his performances on the court. He is only 6-4 for the season, but Tuesday’s recovery from a set down to beat an in-form Max Purcell should lift his spirits. Matches against Dominik Kopefer can be quite tricky as the German plays for every point as if his life depended on it. But if Tiafoe plays to his abilities and cuts down on his errors, expect him to saunter into the last eight.

Prediction: Tiafoe in 2

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Ben Shelton vs Matteo Arnaldi

Head-to-head: first meeting

With his thrilling three-set comeback over Dan Evans in the opening round, Ben Shelton is now one win away from emulating his father, Bryan Shelton, in reaching the Mexican Open quarterfinal. But this is a potential banana peel for the flamboyant American youngster. He is up against a player very much in his mold.

Matteo Arnaldi is only four months older than Shelton. And while his transition to the main tour wasn’t quite as quick as that of Shelton, he has cottoned on the ways to succeed in it. Arnaldi demonstrated his vast repertoire in beating the USA’s top-ranked ATP star, Taylor Fritz. From a spectacle standpoint, we’ll see high-quality shotmaking from both players. But Shelton’s ability to soak up pressure from the baseline with his dextrous slice might limit the Italian’s explosive forehand.

Prediction: Shelton in 3

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Flavio Cobolli

Head-to-head: first meeting

Flavio Cobolli is a 21-year-old who underscores the great strides taken by Italian players in their pursuit of constant improvement. It’s almost as if Jannik Sinner’s Australian Open win has unlocked the potential for some of them. Luciano Darderi was a winner on the ATP Tour during the Golden Swing, and WTA player Jasmine Paolini won a maiden WTA title.

Cobolli has already secured one of his best wins at this tournament by beating former top 10 player Felix Auger-Aliassime. But this will be his stumbling block for the qualifier. Stefanos Tsitspas has made clear that he wants to rejoin the elite cohort of men’s tennis after exiting the top 10 a few weeks ago. He’s taken the first important step in Acapulco by beating Roman Safiullin in straight sets. Expect the Greek’s class to shine again.

Prediction: Tsitsipas in 2

Main photo credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports


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