Day three of the 2019 ATP Cincinnati Western & Southern Open will see the remaining first-round matches and a few clashes one step ahead in the draw. The ATP World no.1 Novak Djokovic will open his campaign against home player Sam Querrey. Who has the best shot to advance?
ATP Cincinnati Tuesday Predictions
Fernando Verdasco vs Benoit Paire
Head-to-head: First meeting
You can never be quite sure which Benoit Paire will show up, but the Frenchman has been relatively consistent in 2019, capturing titles in Marrakech and Lyon. His Rogers Cup campaign was finished in the first round by countryman, Richard Gasquet and two weeks ago he reached the quarterfinals in Washington losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas. With Verdasco not having played on hard courts since February and just one win in his last three tournaments, Paire should have a clear advantage if he can keep his cool.
Prediction: Paire in 2
Andrey Rublev vs Nikoloz Basilashvili
Head-to-head: Basilashvili 2-0
Just three weeks ago in the final of Hamburg Open, Basilashvili managed to defend his title with a three-set win over Rublev. The Georgian has been shining under Jan De Witt’s coaching and has managed to take his game to a whole new level in the past two years. On top of that, he had a good Rogers Cup campaign, defeating Dusan Lajovic and Jan-Lennard Struff. Rublev has suffered a much tougher start to the American hard court season, dropping matches to Peter Gojowczyk and Marc Polmans. He qualified for the main draw here with wins over Bernard Tomic (first set retirement) and Mikhail Kukushkin. Basilashvili has the ability to blow opponents off the court and he won’t let the Russian hit him around with his powerful forehand.
Prediction: Basilashvili in 2
Joao Sousa vs Denis Shapovalov
Head-to-head: Sousa 1-0
It will be a game between consistency and flashiness and it’s not usually a good matchup for the latter one. Shapovalov is in the middle of a disastrous run, having won just three matches in the last four months. One of these was last week against Pierre Hugues-Herbert. Although taking a set off Dominic Thiem might be a good sign, this time around the Canadian won’t have the home crowd advantage and the big stadium to goad him on. Sousa got in as a lucky loser (lost to Yoshihito Nishioka) but he’s good enough to take advantage should Shapovalov’s game continue to be AWOL.
Prediction: Sousa in 3
John Isner vs Pablo Carreno Busta
Head-to-head: First meeting
The American’s comeback from a foot injury hasn’t been going too well, barring a title at Newport, which is one of the weakest tournaments on the ATP Tour. The American hard court season is one of Isner’s most prolific hunting grounds. Yet in Atlanta, Washington, and Montreal, he only managed to win two matches. His first round encounter against Dusan Lajovic also turned out to be trickier than expected, as Isner blasted 27 aces to win 7-5 in the third. The Spaniard qualified with victories over Marius Copil and J. J. Wolf before taking down Gilles Simon to set up a meeting with Isner. Carreno Busta is good enough from the baseline to cause the American trouble, but on a quicker surface, the discrepancy in serve might give Isner too much of an edge.
Prediction: Isner in 3
Novak Djokovic vs Sam Querrey
Head-to-head: Djokovic 8-2
Not an ideal opponent for Djokovic in his first match since winning his 16th Grand Slam at Wimbledon. Querrey won their last encounter three years ago at Wimbledon and is once again playing great. The American scored eight wins in his last two tournaments and dispatched Pierre Hugues-Herbert to advance to the second round. It probably won’t be easy, especially in the beginning, but after Djokovic gets some rhythm on return he should be able to neutralize Querrey’s biggest assets.
Prediction: Djokovic in 2
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Disagree with our ATP Cincinnati Tuesday Predictions? As always, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.