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ATP Houston Day 3 Predictions Including Francisco Cerundolo vs Luciano Darderi

Francisco Cerundolo National Bank Open Rogers Cup

The ATP Houston party continues with four matches on the cards, including an enticing encounter between Francisco Cerundolo and rising star Luciano Darderi. The others meet for the first time, but it certainly won’t be short of excitement. Who will advance to the next round?

ATP Houston Day 3 Predictions

Brandon Nakashima vs Rinky Hijikata

Head–to–Head: First Meeting

Rinky Hijikata hadn’t won a match on clay in two years before he faced Christopher Eubanks in the first round. He required two well-executed tie-breakers to outmuscle the American in an assured performance. He now faces another American in Brandon Nakashima, who ripped apart Duje Ajdukovic in two short sets. The last time both players met was in the second round of the French Open Boys Singles four years ago, when the American was victorious. Based on his first-round performance, the American should gain the upper hand again in their first meeting on the main tour

Prediction: Nakashima in 3

Ben Shelton vs Zizou Bergs

Head–to–Head: First Meeting

Top seed Ben Shelton will seek to win his first match on clay in almost a year. He has had a torrid time on this surface, and the signs look even more ominous as he faces a confident Zizou Bergs, who masterfully defeated Patrick Kypson in straight sets in the previous round. The American would have been the overwhelming favorite if this was on hardcourts, but on this surface, I’ll back the boisterous Belgian to set the upset bells off.

Prediction: Bergs in 2

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J.J. Wolf vs Marcos Giron

Head–to–Head:  Wolf 0 vs 3 Giron

Both players won their first clay court matches of the season in straight sets, but Marcos Giron looked more assured as he controlled the match against Denis Shapovalov, who faced no break of serve. Add the dominant head-to-head into the mix, and he should be able to hold his serve and grind out a win against his compatriot, who’s been in and out of form.

Prediction: Giron in 3

Francisco Cerundolo vs Luciano Darderi

Head–to–Head: First Meeting

This encounter would have been a walk in the park for Francisco Cerundolo some months ago, but Luciano Darderi has grown in leaps and bounds to become a hard nut, especially on his favorite clay. He had some trouble getting used to the special maroon clay in Houston, but once he did, he went full throttle to grab a brilliant comeback win over homeboy Denis Kudla.

That being said, he now faces a superior Argentine who is beginning to find his rhythm after a shaky start to the season. The second seed should win what promises to be a high-quality encounter.

Prediction: Cerundolo in 3

Main Photo Credit: David Kirouac – USA TODAY Sports

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