There were no real surprises in the opening round of the Swedish Open, as all the top seeds navigated their way safely into the second round without any danger. Will it be a similar story on Day 3? Chile’s rising star Cristian Garin, among others, will be in action?
ATP Swedish Open Day 3 Predictions
Cristian Garin vs Jeremy Chardy
Head-To-Head: Garin 1-2 Chardy
At the age of 23, Cristian Garin became Chile’s first ATP title winner in 10 years when he beat Casper Ruud in the US Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston three months ago. That achievement was not surprising to say the least, but rather the time it took for it happen was slightly bemusing. For close followers of Garin, it was pretty evident he stood out as a clay-court specialist from a young age. The 23-year-old won the French Open junior title in 2013 (beating Alexander Zverev in the final), but it took a while for him to announce himself on the pro tour proper. Things though are looking rosy for the talented Chilean, who is now playing the best tennis of his life. Clay is undoubtedly Garin’s forte. He also picked up his second ATP title (BMW Open) on the dirt less than a month after that success in Houston.
Jeremy Chardy may look at this encounter as another chance to re-establish his dominance in the series in the same manner he did to Carreno Busta in the first round, but this may be a step too far for the Frenchman. Chardy’s two previous wins over Garin happened almost five years ago when the young Chilean was still a rookie on the main tour. The top seed has registered 20 wins on clay this year and beat Chardy en route to his title win in Houston. Expect Garin to maintain his excellent clay form and advance to the next round.
Prediction: Garin in 2
Fernando Verdasco vs Albert Ramos Vinolas
Head-To-Head: Verdasco 5-2 Ramos Vinolas
Two left-handed Spaniards with plenty of history at this tournament will meet again for the fourth time in Bastad. It was obvious these two were likely to be in the same half of the draw for the third straight year. Albert Ramos Vinolas triumphed in the pair’s meeting in 2016 final, but it is Verdasco who leads in their head-to-head 5-2 (2-1 at Swedish Open).
For 35-year-old Verdasco, he finished the 2018 season ranked inside the Top 30 (No.27 to be exact). That was a first time he managed that feat since 2012. After a slow start to proceedings during the early part of 2019, he has reinvigorated his game and his season and he is now back inside the Top 30 and comes into this week being ranked at No.26.
The great news for Verdasco is that he owns his second round opponent Ramos Vinolas. He has won five of their seven matches, including a very handy 6-3 6-2 win in their last meeting, in Bastad in 2017. This may sound a bit off, but I think Ramos Vinolas has found a good rhythm on clay over the last few weeks on the Challenger tour after playing dismally all year.
Prediction: Ramos Vinolas in 2
Nicolas Jarry vs Mikael Ymer
Head-To-Head: First meeting
Fifth seeded Chilean Nicolas Jarry will play local favorite Mikael Ymer in the second round. Jarry came through his opener against Henri Laaksonen in straight sets, but it was far from straightforward. Ymer meanwhile, fought back valiantly against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina where came back from a set down to win in three sets.
The young Swede is currently placed 10th in the Race to Milan as he attempts to gain points this week in his pursuit for a spot at the NextGen ATP Finals. Jarry has the advantage of his big game experience in this one. Ymer struggled dearly on his serve in the first two sets against the Spaniard, and I expect Jarry to bulldoze his way into the third round without any drama.
Prediction: Jarry in 2
Roberto Carballes Baena vs Damir Dzumhur
Head-To-Head: First meeting
Roberto Carballes Baena was not relentlessly impressive in his win over compatriot Jaume Munar in the first round, but he showed admirable fighting spirit to outlast his countryman in that encounter. Carballes Baena would later team up with Munar in doubles later that day and they progressed into the next round. In comparison to Damir Dzumhur, the 27-year-old barely broke sweat as he swept past Casper Ruud 6-4 6-2. This seems likely to be a close contest as these players like to engage in long exchanges, but Carballes Baena possesses greater firepower to enable him edge the diminutive Bosnian.
Prediction: Carballes Baena in 3