Day three at the ATP Rotterdam will see both first and second round action. Sofia Open champion Daniil Medvedev, Montpellier titlist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas are among those who will be playing their openers on the day. But who will manage to advance safely and who will fall by the way side?
Daniil Medvedev vs Jeremy Chardy
The Russian has enjoyed a great start to 2019, first reaching the Brisbane International final in January and then by winning his fourth career title in Sofia last week. In between that, at the Australian Open he was arguably the only player who discomfited eventual champion Novak Djokovic, extending the Serbian across four gruelling sets in their last 16 clash.
Chardy, in contrast, has had an up-and-down season in 2019 although he did play well in Montpellier, reaching the quarterfinals. He also beat the Russian the only other time they played each other, which came in the second round at Queen’s last year. However, since then, the fortunes of the two have been vastly different, and it is the 23-year-old Medvedev who rightly heads into this match as the heavy favourite.
Prediction: Medvedev in 3
Damir Dzumhur vs Stefanos Tsitsipas
The Bosnian leads the head-to-head against Tsitsipas 2-1. But of the two, it is Dzumhur who has been in the doldrums so far in 2019. Indeed, his win-loss record for the year is 0-3 and he has taken some one-sided losses. Tsitsipas too has lost three matches so far in 2019, but he has also posted seven wins – including one over Roger Federer at the Australian Open in the fourth round. With the momentum and the confidence he has built during this fine run of form the 20-year-old should have enough to account for Dzumhur.
Prediction: Tsitsipas in 2
Milos Raonic vs Stan Wawrinka
This is the second time this year that this pair will meet in second-round action after their momentous clash at the same stage of the Australian Open. There the Canadian edged past against the Swiss in four tiebreak sets to narrow the gap in their head-to-head to 4-3 in Wawrinka’s favour.
The three-time Major champion has been in uncertain form of late. Wawrinka started off the season on an upbeat note, reaching the quarter-final in Doha but it has been a downhill road for him since. His aforementioned loss to Raonic in Melbourne surely stung and he also crashed out in the first round at the Sofia Open. Raonic, meanwhile, has had steadier results, reaching the quarterfinals at both the Brisbane International and the Australian Open.
Wawrinka’s decision to take a wildcard at the ATP Rotterdam surely reflects his eagerness to try and scale the heights again after his decline due to a knee injury. But he has looked short of composure in recent matches, which could work well to Raonic’s advantage, especially after their previous meeting.
Prediction: Raonic in 3
Tomas Berdych vs Denis Shapovalov
Both Berdych and Shapovalov struggled at times in the first-round, but came through their openers in straight sets nonetheless. Of the two, it was the Czech who played the better tennis, managing to assert himself impressively in his match against the resilient Gilles Simon. The two have split their previous two meetings, with Shapovalov winning their last match at the 2018 Italian Open. However, for Shapovalov to try and emulate that result on Wednesday seems easier said than done considering the consistent form Berdych has been in so far in 2019.
Prediction: Berdych in 2
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