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ATP Houston Day 2 Predictions Including Denis Shapovalov vs Marcos Giron

Denis Shapovalov in action ahead of the ATP Montpellier Open.

First-round action at the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships at ATP Houston continues on Tuesday with eight singles matches. Canada’s Denis Shapovalov will play this ATP 250 event for the first time and faces a tricky opener. Four matches are featured in a separate article. So, who will reach the second round?

ATP Houston Day 2 Predictions

Daniel Elahi Galan vs Benoit Paire

Head-to-head: first meeting

Daniel Elahi Galan was a semifinalist on his debut appearance in Houston back in 2019. This season, his best result was on the dirt, where he reached the second round in Buenos Aires as a qualifier. Since then, he’s gone 1-5 in all competitions. Benoit Paire, for his part, has a similar return in his last six matches. With such wretched records, it will be slim pickings in this first-round match. But since this is Galan’s seventh match on clay, his transition from hard courts will be a lot smoother.

Prediction: Galan in 3

Alex Michelsen vs Max Purcell

Head-to-head: first meeting

Alex Michelsen is set to play in Houston for the first time. The 19-year-old has only played eight matches on clay on the pro tour. So, with that sample size, it is hard to make any justifications for his versatility. But then again, his opponent, Max Purcell, who is more experienced, has fared dismally on the same surface. Moreover, the 25-year-old Aussie has lost his last four matches. Worryingly for Purcell, he has won one set from nine in that time. The clay in Houston plays extremely fast, making the American a slight favorite in this matchup. He has the bigger weapons to win cheap points and potentially the match.

Prediction: Michelsen in 2

Embed from Getty Images

Gijs Brouwer vs James Duckworth

Head-to-head: Duckworth 1-0 Brouwer

Although these two players are ranked almost 100 spots apart, it is not a fair representation of their current form. Brouwer is coming from a quarterfinal run at the Lugano Challenger and had to qualify for the main draw in Houston. Duckworth, meanwhile, has already achieved two quarterfinals at the tour level (Brisbane and Dallas). On clay, the Aussie appears to be the more vulnerable. Additionally, Brouwer has fared well in Houston in each of the past two seasons, making a quarterfinal and a semifinal. The advantage is very much with the big-striking Dutchman.

Prediction: Brouwer in 3

Denis Shapovalov vs Marcos Giron

Head-to-head: first meeting

It will be interesting to see whether Denis Shapovalov has turned a corner with that convincing win over Stefanos Tsotsis in Miami. Despite losing his next match, he’s in a good spot, confidence-wise. The same cannot be said of Marcos Giron, who will look to snap a three-match losing run dating back to the end of February. It is the first meeting between these two players who can hit the ball as hard as anyone on tour. But the higher upswing is with the Canadian.

Prediction: Shapovalov in 2

Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane – USA TODAY Sports


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