Mar 26, 2021

2021 Miami Open Men's Round Two Writeup

Yes we’ve have a first round, but what about a second roooooound.
Medvedev vs Lu :

Did you know they pay you to lose in the first round? Sam Querrey does. In what was a lackluster effort involving 0 facial expression changes and an inability to break one of the weaker servers on tour, Querrey went down in straight and straightforward sets to Yen Hsun Lu. Good for him. His reward is a high profile opponent in Medvedev who will give him a tour of the court. Lu competes hard but doesn’t have the weapons to hurt Medvedev. Medvedev in two.

Popyrin vs Opelka :

Popyrin had a really good performance in the first round. Lopez, on the other hand, was a split-second late on every single return swing. He was aware of it but just couldn’t catch up with the pace, and after finally getting to a tiebreaker in the second, he found a number of shanks and simple errors. He handled it sort of well, but sort of poorly. He’s entering that Murray stage where you’re still able to compete on tour, but are more of an ambassador and feel-good story than a threat to win. He’ll need to have a good grass season, because I’m not sure if his response to losing indicates someone who’ll avoid retirement in the same way Murray has.

Opelka has grown a legit fro for this event, and despite his shot selection being similar to Sabalenka, these courts are perfect for his game. The USTA pros pretty much all play in Florida when they’re at home, so despite Popyrin’s excellent form, this is likely to be a close contest. Popyrin’s serve and offense are easily good enough to win here, and so the onus is on Opelka to take care of his serve very well. He hasn’t done so thus far this year, but Lopez got into deep territory while playing poorly so I expect a younger and more powerful server to get there. Popyrin having played a match already is a huge advantage because he’ll feel comfortable in rallies, and Opelka’s slump will have his composure on thinner ice than Alexei. What excites me about this match is obvious Opelka’s cartoon superhero-like serve and forehand, but also that Opelka in good form gave Medvedev fits last time. Still, I don’t know if he gets there. Popyrin has won a bunch of matches, has a significant edge in rallies, and has a simple service motion that is hard to read which means Opelka will be doing a lot of guessing. Popyrin in 3.

Evans vs Tiafoe :

Tiafoe and Travaglia played a real entertaining match. Tiafoe’s next contest will be even better. With Tiafoe in really good form, and coming off a decent clay-swing, this is already by far his best season on tour and as a developing player, that’s great to see. Across the net is one of the guys on tour who eclipses Tiafoe’s all-around skill, and that means this is going to take a lot of work to win. Tiafoe has won the last few contests between these two, but I’m not sure he wins this one. Evans played well in Dubai despite losing to Karatsev, and the quick Miami courts make up for his lack of power. The X-factor here is the windy weather. The ball’s been moving a bit, and this benefits Evans a bit since his swings are a bit more adjustable than Tiafoe’s, Tiafoe has great reactions but he tends to accelerate very quickly on his forehand and to really go after his slice. Evans also plays a very slice-heavy game on the backhand, which can make things a bit complex for Tiafoe’s backhand. If Evans plays Travaglia, I don’t think Travaglia gets a set, so I’m leaning towards the fresh Evans here. It should still be a close contest, but I think Evans will begin to turn the tide. Evans in 3.

Escobedo vs Lajovic :

This is a tough one to call, and a price that I was a little surprised at. Escobedo played great in the qualifying, and was comprehensive in his defeat of Paolo Lorenzi. I’m not sure, however, that this makes him the pickem against Lajovic that books have him listed at. Lajovic is certainly a small market, but Escobedo hasn’t yet beaten anyone on tour at his level. Dusan has been in a slump, but just played a tight contest with Fucsovics and has been playing Coric, Medvedev, Fucs, etc while Escobedo has been playing Nakashima, Cressy, and Lorenzi. All that aside, Escobedo is really crushing the ball, and serving pretty good. It will be easier to score cheap points for him than for Lajovic, who tends to move the ball around a bit before trying to finish a rally. Lajovic also is a bit better on slower courts, but without any clear injuries and against a player who does throw in some unforced errors on the run, Lajovic should be favored here. There are a lot of matches in this second round that I expect to go to a deciding set, and this is one of them. Lajovic in 3.

Auger-Alliassime vs Herbert :

Felix played some incredible tennis in Acapulco. He seems like he’s almost twice as tall in person than he appears on camera, and his backhand/forehand can make some strange contact, but it’s clear he can win most matches put in front of him. The serving woes that troubled him a season ago have gone away, and that makes this a very uphill battle for Herbert. It’s almost an unfortunate draw for Herbert, coming off a finals run and having won fairly easily in round one against perennial entrant Pedro Sousa. This is a serving battle for sure, and a great test of FAA’s level. If he’s able to dispatch Herbert, there’s a good chance he sets up a clash with RBA/Harris in the quarters. FAA is not the best returner, so Herbert is likely to get himself to the deciding end of sets. Who is able to get closer to the baseline will matter a lot, and I think this will be Herbert while he is fresh, and FAA once this fades. The weather isn’t that hot in Miami, but we’re already getting into that section of the season where players begin to develop injuries and request ice-towels for changeovers. With a young talent you always give the more experienced player a chance, but I think it’s hard to choose Herbert outright. A good one to skip. FAA in 3.

McDonald vs Isner :

Mcdonald and Pospisil played a good first round, with Mackie being the more consistent throughout but being fairly outgunned at the same time. Pospisil continues to seem a bit too awkward to really win all the time, and requiring perfect conditions to win is a bad recipe on a tour that is populated not only by mercurial talents but by fierce competitors like McDonald. Earning it on tour means earning it every week, so if there are opportunities, McDonald will take them. There will certainly be opportunities in this next round against John Isner. After a lackluster performance in Acapulco, there are question marks next to the physical ability of Isner. He was never the best athlete and always had some minor injuries/mobility problems, but his serve was able to carry him. Miami’s quick courts do give him a chance to go after his forehand, but Mackie has just outdueled a similar server (from what I saw in Acapulco; not Isner’s serve of 2-3 seasons ago) and is likely to be able to hold serve well since his location has been excellent and his game in the rally is very efficient while still being aggressive. I like watching Isner lose. McDonald in 2.

Struff vs Berankis :

“I can lose to him” said Struff. “But Jan, we don’t know who you play yet,” said the tournament director. “I said what I said,” said Struff. While he’s one of the more consistent performers in 3/5 set matches, Struff struggles with unforced errors and going a bit too big a bit too fast in the 2/3 structure. He’s lost to respectable players recently but the problem is he’s lost to all of them. A single win against Kukushkin in his last five matches isn’t much to cheer about, and Berankis is a very consistent opponent. The problem here for Berankis is that he’s never won a match against Struff, and Struff was significantly worse in the past than he is now. The quick Miami courts are a good chance for Struff to turn his season around, but it will require patience and mental fortitude to do so. These are two things he has never had, so this is a dangerous matchup, but one that he should win. Struff in 3. Even while typing it I had the prediction because it is expecting a level that he just hasn’t displayed recently, but the H2H and Berankis’ tight match with Gaio don’t exactly make him the lock of the year either. Nobody’s really looking for an article filled with “i don’t knows”, but in many cases I hope people will look at the potential factors rather than the specific prediction at the end.

Harris vs Bautista-Agut :

Lloyd Harris did well to beat Nava in straight sets. Nava is a really good prospect, and I don’t know if it will happen this year, but he will likely make his way on tour soon. RBA is a guy who usually has the season that Harris is having. Winning a ton of close matches, playing great on his forehand, looking solid on his backhand, and just generally outlasting opponents has been RBA’s hallmark, but Harris is doing all of those things, and also playing behind a huge yet easily repeatable serve. Can RBA expose Harris’ backhand to the degree that makes him force errors? No one has really done that in the past week or so. Harris doesn’t exactly look fatigued either, and his fitness level makes me almost suspect CGI as the dude is carrying 0 fat. If RBA is not careful, he will get blitzed here. As it stands, these are RBA’s best conditions; fast outdoor courts, but Harris is at his best. Another match that I expect to go the distance, but I think it’ll be on RBA to get it there. Harris in 3.

Zverev vs Ruusuvuori :

Normally I’d be excited about Zverev playing a young talent who can hang in rallies with him. Last week though Zverev’s play in the finals against Tsitsipas was very good. Stefanos devolved into pushmode and in the key moments he seemed content to put the ball into play and expect errors. They never came, and Zverev’s heavy forehand and completely solid backhand got errors without really going for broke. Add in one of the best servers on tour despite some terrible double-faults, and I am ready to sign myself up to witness a huge Zverev collapse if it happens. Ruus and Alcaraz played a really fun first round match, with a lot of trading and a good deal of comfort in the conditions, but Ruus will likely have a difficult time scoring against Zverev as he did against Alcaraz. It became a bit of Ruus’ defense against Alcaraz’ offense at times, and I think Zverev’s serve will be a tough ask for Emil. I’d love to watch the upset, but I think this is Zverev in 2.

Ymer vs Basilashvili :

Three weeks ago this would be an easy call for Ymer. Basilashvili racked up so many wonderful losses in the quarantine season and started this year off with 4 in a row. Then he somehow won Doha. When he’s on, he cracks the ball harder than anyone on tour. His backhand is a rocket and his forehand is hit for a winner every time. His downfall has been errors, as he’s much like Struff and tries to hit every ball hard even when he’s in poor position. Legend has it that Basilashvili and Struff hold the world records for eating Rubik’s cubes. While the original contest they entered was for solving them, both ate hundreds due to their frustration so Guiness was contacted and approved the record. Ymer was pretty great against Tabilo, whose game faltered once he was unable to find clean winners, and Ymer served well also. He is the ideal opponent for Basilashvili because he loves to defend, but a frustrating one because he puts many balls back in play and is one of the fastest guys on tour. I think despite his good form, Basilashvili will struggle here. Ymer in 3.

Sinner vs Gaston :

Koepfer decided to play Miami with a pretty clear shoulder issue, and Gaston took advantage. While Gaston’s serve isn’t very powerful, Koepfer couldn’t keep it in, and he really played most of this match with his backhand being the only weapon. Gaston, to his credit, took great advantage of this, and despite his game being known for dropshots, he caught Koepfer time and time again in key moments. Sinner will have a fun match with Gaston, as he’s unlikely to just disappear due to the name, but Sinner’s power and genuine court coverage have proven to be a contender at most events outside the majors, and really only fatigue/physical issues have caused him to lose unexpectedly. Sinner in 2.

Hanfmann vs Khachanov :

The price on this one is hefty, with Khachanov something like -450. I get his quality and name, but Hanfmann is a pretty great server so I don’t really agree. Given his relatively close contest against Johnson though, it’s hard to point to an upset here. Khachanov is a frustrating guy to watch since he often winds up in close matches regardless of the opponent, but his backhand is extremely solid, his serve is efficient and powerful, and the only real problem he’s suffered is some forehand timing issues. This match is likely to have fewer long rallies, so that likely won’t be too much of a problem. Hanfmann is a guy similar to Gerasimov; he can move pretty well, but chooses his shots in ways that prevent him from really getting trapped in long rallies. Khachanov is likely to have a bit more consistency in rallies and Hanfmann is unlikely to have a whole match worth of craft to get by, and that should be the key. Khachanov in 2 close sets.

Norrie vs Dimitrov :

Dimitrov played one of the hardest matches to watch against Musetti last week that I have seen in a while. Maybe since Dimitrov played Kevin King and lost. He has the kind of ability that makes you wonder how he finds such composed errors. In his defense, Musetti is a very good defender and holds himself back on a lot of shots, so it can be a very frustrating game of cat and mouse. Dimitrov’s level there makes this match against Norrie a question mark. Cam Norrie is the opposite of reliable. After dominating much of the first set, Norrie managed to lose the second. After going down 5-1 in the third, Norrie managed to win 7-5. It was a hard match to watch, with Nishioka complaining to the sky and Norrie having great length on his backhand, but it not really mattering since he hits it too soft/devoid of spin to get it through the court. This match with Dimitrov is one he should win because Dimitrov really doesn’t perform well more than a handful of times each year, but Norrie is only just starting to be able to find his offense on his forehand. He does hit it hard when he lets it go, but he doesn’t let it go enough. He has a passable serve, but it tends to become predictable. The good thing for him is that Dimitrov’s onehander will struggle against most lefties, and Dimitrov is likely not to punish him too much for hanging in long rallies. This is a match that Dimitrov “should win”, but I think many people are tired of preaching that story. He’s a great player, but not a top player, and stylistic matchups seem to be very important. Norrie in 3.

Giron vs Fritz :

Giron and Paul played a really good first set, and Paul kinda lost his range in the second. He hit a number of simple backhand returns too deep, and Giron’s steady baseline play was good enough to keep him ahead on the scoreboard. This sets up a very winnable match against Fritz, who is a more consistent but less dangerous matchup than Tommy Paul. Fritz has a bigger serve at times, but loses an awful lot of matches. It’s no secret that I am a big fan of calling Fritz losses, and I do expect Giron to have a good look at winning this match. Fritz reminds me of a glum crayon, or a bird that got a haircut. The only bright point is that he’s the sort of strange story that winds up winning Wimbledon or something strange like that, but these are guys who are passing him by, and it’s mostly his reputation and the lack of American stars that is keeping him relevant. C’mon Fritz! Giron in 3.

Bublik vs Djere :

Maybe I’m lost in the sauce, but there are a lot of upsets in this second round. Djere and Vesely traded a ton of breaks in their match, but Djere is just a tank of an opponent. He hits such a heavy ball and he doesn’t go for anything foolish. His serve isn’t an ace but it is smashed in a similar fashion to Leo Mayer where you are mostly lunging for it. His height will help him return against Bublik, and despite Alexander’s surge early this season he is very prone to losing to guys who are not “fun”. The dropshots and tricky exchanges are things Djere mostly batters, and while Bublik can win a set in 20 minutes at times, he also can give up on one. With a struggling Goffin waiting, this is a must-win for both players. Add in Dimitrov/Norrie/Fritz/Giron as the rest of this quarter, and this should bring the best effort out of everyone. Bublik should win, but I don’t trust it, and with Djere having practice returning against Zverev a week ago, I expect him to get into a handful of service games. Ambitiously, Djere in 3.

Duckworth vs Goffin :

Ok, Goffin’s been losing but he can’t lose this right? Right? RIGHT? Goffin hasn’t really looked the same post-Covid. He has a distant look in his eyes while losing, and it may be a simple struggle with consistency/desire, but it makes this a sort of difficult spot. Duckworth and Zverev had an uncomfortably close first round match, and while I’m not the biggest fan of Zverev’s game, the serve/volley strategy can really put anyone off their rhythm. I loved watching him beat Murray when he did, so I should ease off him. He isn’t wildcarding his way on tour anyway, and earning it in the qualifiers is always impressive.
Duckworth is a fierce competitor and goes after his groundstrokes well. He has a similar style to Albot in terms of shot selection and getting to net when he can, but there’s nothing he can really dominate a match with. I expect Goffin to have some difficult stretches here, but to win in the end. Goffin in 3, and hopefully in 2 though Duckworth deserves some luck as long as he’s been working to get on tour.

Schwartzman vs Uchiyama :

Caruso is in a strange slump. Watching Uchiyama play him it seemed like an even contest, but Caruso was having a lot of problems with his height of shot. Simple forehand offerings went into the net, and you can see he was kinda puzzled by it also. Great for Uchiyama to get points, and while he likely won’t win this next contest, he’ll have a lot of courttime with a top player which is good for getting someone comfortable on tour. Diego surprisingly lost to Musetti in Acapulco, but in hindsight that loss isn’t so bad. Diego has had the fortune of Karatsev and Musetti announcing their games have peaked in their matches against him, and he’ll hope Uchiyama (who just has a supercool name if I’m being honest) doesn’t do the same. Schwartzman isn’t likely to give Uchiyama many errors, and Uchiyama doesn’t have the biggest serve so Diego is likely to get some breaks. Schwartzman in 2.

Kecmanovic vs Mannarino :

Mannarino really only struggles with significant power, and Kecmanovic is juuuuust on the cusp of that range. Liam Broady played great early, but was asking for ice-towels to be kept near his bench very early in the match, and it was downhill from there. Both players seemed a bit fatigued, but Broady wore his fatigue on his face and by the third set he was toasted, lightly toasted. Kecmanovic won this match by hitting his forehand to Broady’s backhand. He did it over and over and over. When he had backhands to deal with, he spread the court nicely and this was one where Kecmanovic stuck to his gameplan and it worked. It was oddly, the perfect strategy to employ against Mannarino as well. Adrian is a tricky one to predict. At times he’s a title threat in smaller events, and since he plays such a unique and accurate game he can often look unbeatable, but since he hits the ball a tad slow he can also get overpowered and his serve struggles when that happens.

Mannarino has won the last two meetings of this pair, including a 3:0 win at the AO where I felt Kecmanovic would win, but he withdrew last week after a single set against Dimitrov, and with the possibility of guys entering the Miami Open to pick up valuable points and prize money (16k for losing in the second round), I think that Kecmanovic may turn the tide here. Kecmanovic in 3.

Karatsev vs Kukushkin :

Jack Draper has a really cool game, and crushes the ball at times. He seems to play tennis like it’s racquetball, and he was certainly in the match against Kukushkin. Physical issues, and a nasty fall during the rally at set point soured that play though. He called the trainer earlier, and seemed to have a leg issue. He’s withdrawn from a lot of matches on the ITF tour also, so it may be time for some rest. The tour isn’t going anywhere, and it’s a real grind to play tennis full-time so a physical regimen may need to be worked on to get him back to the tour. For now, Kukushkin gets some much-needed points. I sure am using a lot more hyphens than usual; I wonder what’s up with that. Anyway, Karatsev has been unreal, and I expect it to continue. He doesn’t strike me as the sort to party after a win, so I think his fatigue here will be minimal. Karatsev in 2.

Korda vs Fognini :

I haven’t seen the price for this one yet, but I would expect Korda to be a small favorite. These courts really suit his game, and he had Albot stuck behind the baseline scrambling for pretty much the whole match. Albot had some break points, but never really was able to hold serve. Something may be physicall wrong with him, because his serving in the AO and subsequent indoor events was wayyyyy better than it was tonight. Fognini lost to Norrie last week, and he’ll lose to Korda this week. Korda’s serving is good enough to hold any advantage Fognini offers, and Fognini’s habit of drifting behind the baseline will give the somewhat slow Korda a bit more time to get to balls. Korda in 2.

Garin vs Cilic :

Cilic was as bad as you can be but somehow also dominant against Coria. When he turned things up in the third set he was almost unplayable, finding short angles and some very crafty backhand offerings. His serve also found its range, and while I’ve been fooled before, I think that means he is at least an even prospect against Garin. Christian Garin isn’t the best on hardcourt, but he has beaten a ton of guys who blinked against him. His consistency and commitment to hitting to the open court are great. He’ll need them against Cilic though, as Coria made Cilic play a ton of extra balls and wasn’t able to do much more than tread water in the third. I’m ready to get hurt Cilic! Cilic in 2.

Musetti vs Paire :

Now the draw is starting to open up a bit. Benoit Paire is a circus wrapped in a clown disguised as a blueberry muffin covered in spiders that tapdance and wear tophats that are borrowed from a dragon that smokes cigarettes that emit smoke made of sprinkles that fall onto cakes that Benoit scowls at every morning in the bakery that he built in his living room even though he doesn’t eat sugar. Musetti was pretty solid again against Mmoh but got the benefit of a ton of unforced errors. His defense will be tested against Paire, but his tempered ballstriking may get punished at times by Paire’s backhand. Certainly Paire and Musetti seem headed in opposite directions, so I won’t suggest a Paire win, but fast courts and Paire’s offense can make for some close sets. Musetti in 2.

Fucsovics vs Kokkinakis :

Changing my name to Blurrinakis Turtleovics. Fucsovics has a knack (Khachanov had this for a few seasons) for finding extremely hard matches right away in events. Kokkinakis is the offensive talent that can alllllllmost beat Fucsovics, and Fucsovics is the defensive test that will call into question Thanasi’s physical limitations. It’ll be a question of how fatigued Fucsovics is after his successful month. Pospisil should have beaten him, and that level may just lose to Kokkinakis. If Fucsovics is back to normal, I do expect him to win this match, but Kokkinakis’ serving and these super fast courts may make it a small question. Fucsovics in 3.

Sandgren vs Rublev :

Martinez unfortunately was injured and had to withdraw from his match with Sandgren. Hopefully he recovers in time for the clay season as he’s a real threat to pull some upsets. Rublev, who often accuses cats of owing him money, is just too good at this point. Sandgren plays up to the level of most of his opponents, but this would be the best upset of his career. Rublev in 2.

Shapovalov vs Ivashka :

Shapo lost an ok result to Karatsev in Dubai, and while Ivashka is a very good player, Shap will be happy with this draw. 3 tiebreakers with Kwon will have your timing sharp, but your legs a bit wobbly. The bad Shap can lose this, so I usually like to see how he plays in his first round, but the good/usual Shap shows up in the larger events and will probably have a bit too much offense for Ivashka who can sometimes fall into just rolling the ball in. Shapovalov in 2.

Kudla vs Hurkacz :

Chardy was coastin and things just fell apart for a game or two. He really is one of the most enjoyable players to watch but Kudla just fought and fought until he earned the victory. Holding onto a break for the entire 3rd set is never easy, so Kudla will feel good heading into a contest against Hurkacz with no pressure for him. Hurkacz has turned in some of the worst performances the tour has seen, and some of the best. He has a similar coach as Struff and Basilashvili I suspect, and if Kudla can put extra balls in play he can win this one. I’m prone to leaning towards the favorite until the upset happens, but I can’t type “Hurkacz in 2 most likely” because I don’t expect it. Hurkacz has earned his inconsistent reputation, and him and Chardy is a match I expect Chardy to win out in, so I almost almost almost expect Kudla, who is very consistent, to win at least a set here unless Hurkacz is poised to make a good run. Hurkacz Shap is a really fun 3rd round, but I’m not sure we see it. Kudla in 3.

Humbert vs Sousa :

Sousa wins a match! O’Connell had to call the trainer and it seems his work to get on tour has caused some lingering injuries to pop up. In the past he’s overcome a lot of it so I expect he’ll be back, but for now Sousa wins a match! You may remember Joao Sousa from the ATP tour. He used to win matches on it. But now he’s back. You can’t stop him. Joao Sousa will acquit himself nicely against Humbert, and if Humbert starts slow, this could get interesting. He tends to struggle a tiny bit outdoors, but Sousa hasn’t played multiple matches in a while, so he may be a bit off. Humbert in 2, though he is not entirely out of his “random loss” phase yet.

Thompson vs Raonic :

Jordan Thompson and Delbonis feels like a match that happens every tournament, and Thompson certainly played juuuuuust good enough to win it this time. Up next is Raonic, who lost to a red-hot Koepfer last week and looked a bit off his game. I want to say Thompson can trouble him, but the court is too fast for Thompson’s defense to really get the job done, and Raonic’s serve and forehand should have this done in 2. Raonic in 2.

De Minaur vs Galan Riveros :

De Minaur has been somewhat quiet despite being priced at absurd things like -1400 at times against guys ranked in the top 100. Galan and him is likely to be a fun match to watch, because both can keep the ball going for hours. Galan outlasted Seyboth Wild, making pass after pass after get after get. He never really blinked and he isn’t likely to beat De Minaur, but I think it will be closer than most expect. Galan’s speed will be extremely important, as De Minaur moves the ball around great and will get to net if you aren’t quick to the sidelines. For non-tennis fans, when you move late laterally it causes you to have to open your racquethead to play the ball back into the court and this can allow your opponent much more time to execute a volley. I expect De Minaur to win here, but I am reminded that when Galan played Djokovic he didn’t do too poorly. Just looked it up actually and he got 0, 3, 2, but I do think he plays better hardcourt tennis than he gets credit for. De Minaur in 2.

Fratangelo vs Sonego :

This is another possible upset for Fratangelo. While he was favored by oddsmakers last round, he hasn’t been classically a guy on tour who will defeat a player like Verdasco. His play was solid, and this is one of his best weeks in a very long time. Historically, men named Bjorn are 35% more likely to own a vest. Sonego has been good and bad. He is a streaky offensive player, but he should be somewhat comfortable in this situation. The courts are very fast which should benefit his serve, and he tends to go for immediate offense with his forehand so the pace can help there also. Fratangelo is in good enough form here to win if Sonego makes unforced errors which makes it a fun match and should apply a little pressure to Sonego if he gets down early. Again, these first matches are always a mystery which is what makes them so fun, but I think slumps are more often a result of so many great players on tour than poor play, and I think Sonego will do well here. Sonego in 2.

Nishikori vs Bedene :

Nishikori has been on a tear lately, and he covers the court in just an absurdly unique way. Really only Djokovic reminds me of Nishikori in the ability to just really lock in and not miss on the backhand, and this is a very winnable match against Aljaz Bedene. Bedene was down 3-0 in the 1st and came back to win, and despite Fabbiano nabbing the second set 6-1 Bedene was always the one dictating in the rallies in this one. Fabbiano wound up behind the baseline in a similar manner to Albot and it’s just really hard to win a match from there against a baseliner, which Bedene certainly is. Slight edge in form from at the baseline to Nishikori, because while Bedene did outperform Fabbiano, the scoreline was pretty close and I wouldn’t expect Fabbiano to get a set here against Nishi. Nishikori in 2.

Dzumhur vs Tsitsipas :

Dzumhur wins a match! This is already a good redemption tournament for a lot of players on the ATP. Tsitsipas in 2 though.