ATP Stuttgart Open Day Open 2 Predictions Including Matteo Berrettini vs Nick Kyrgios

Monfils Stuttgart Open

The Stuttgart Open started off a little rainier than the players and fans had wanted, but the second day boasts a slate of potentially scintillating matches. Who will come out on top?

ATP Stuttgart Day 2 Predictions

Alexei Popyrin vs Milos Raonic

Head-to-head: first meeting

Sixth seed Milos Raonic will make his return to action, having been out since March, up against qualifier Alexei Popyrin. Raonic is traditionally very good on the grass. His big serve and first-strike brand of tennis fit the surface perfectly. Popyrin, meanwhile, did well to rally from a set down in the first round of qualifying against his countryman Maverick Banes before comfortably beating Matteo Viola to make the main draw.

This will, however, be only the fourth match of Popyrin’s career on grass. It is also the first career-meeting between this pair. Despite Raonic being injured, there is such a huge gulf in experience between the two that it’s hard to see Popyrin winning this match. Raonic is a former Wimbledon finalist after all. Expect Raonic’s hammer blow of a serve to provide the Canadian with the platform he needs to win this match comfortably enough.

Prediction: Raonic in two
Embed from Getty Images

Ernests Gulbis vs Felix Auger-Aliassime

Head-to-head: first meeting

Felix Auger-Aliassime, only 18-years-old, has rocketed up the rankings this season. However, he has only played four matches in his career on the grass after choosing to skip the grass-court swing last year to play clay-court Challengers in Europe. As a result, he will surely still be adjusting to the surface. Ernests Gulbis, in contrast, reached the last 16 at Wimbledon last season, where he was up a set on Kei Nishikori before falling in four sets. He has, however, had a difficult season and is out of form.

This match will surely be decided by how effectively Auger-Aliassime is able adjust his game to the grass courts. The initial signs are not massively encouraging. He relies, for the most part, on heavy topspin on his groundstrokes and can struggle to put away short balls. Nor is he especially adept at the net. Expect Gulbis’ greater familiarity with grass-court tennis to prove the difference as the Latvian books his place in the second round at the Stuttgart Open.

Prediction: Gulbis in three
Embed from Getty Images

Matteo Berrettini vs Nick Kyrgios

Head-to-head: first meeting

The unpredictable Nick Kyrgios may have his work cut out taking on Italy’s Matteo Berrettini at the Stuttgart Open. Kyrgios hasn’t played since being defaulted against Casper Ruud in Rome. However, returning to his favorite surface should provide him with confidence and motivation. Kyrgios can be fantastic on the grass, where his huge serve works perfectly and his first-strike style of play is rewarded.

While most of Berrettini’s success has come on the clay, he can play on the grass and last year made the second round at Wimbledon. He has a big serve and a big forehand, and will need to use them to take control of points early against Kyrgios. This looks likely to be a classic example of aggressive, serve-based tennis and expect few long rallies. But Kyrgios is unquestionably the better server and he is much more experienced on this surface. That should prove decisive.

Prediction: Kyrgios in two
Embed from Getty Images

Gael Monfils vs Steve Johnson

Head-to-head: Monfils 2-0 Johnson

It should be an entertaining match as Gael Monfils takes on Steve Johnson. Monfils put together a solid campaign at the French Open, making the fourth round. While his more counter-punching-based game is not the best suited for grass, he has experience on all surfaces and last year reached the second week at the All England Club for the first time in his career.

Johnson is having a poor season, but his game is well-suited to grass. His backhand slice races through the court making it difficult for opponents to handle, and he won the title in Newport in 2018. In their two previous meetings Monfils won in three sets, though both matches were played on hard courts. This match will come down to whether Monfils gets frustrated by the slice of Johnson and whether Johnson has the patience to hit through Monfils. It will be close, but expect the more confident Monfils to just about come through.

Prediction: Monfils in three

Main photo:
Embed from Getty Images

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.