Main draw action kicks off on Day 1 of the Shanghai Masters. Who will advance to the second round? Here are our thoughts on four of Sunday’s matches.
Shanghai Masters Day 1 Predictions
Joao Sousa vs Filip Krajinovic
A first round battle between two of the game’s journeymen. Both players are in the middle of the Top 100 and have grinded through 2019. Sousa is more comfortable on the clay than the hard, while Krajinovic does not really have a favorite surface but plays fairly well on hard courts. Overall, Krajinovic is having the better season and will use his momentum to win the match comfortably.
Prediction: Krajinovic in 2
Hubert Hurkacz vs Zhizhen Zhang
Hurkacz has been under the radar as one of tennis’ bright young stars. He has had an excellent season and currently sits at world #36. He plays a fun brand of tennis and has the game to play with almost anyone on tour. Zhang has gotten a wild card into three tournaments on the Asian swing, as one of the top Asian players. He has made use of them, winning his first round matches in his previous two, including a defeat of Kyle Edmund last week in Beijing. Hurkacz has struggled lately, but won his first title on the hard courts in Winston Salem and will find his groove and win easily.
Prediction: Hurkacz in 2
Jeremy Chardy vs Dan Evans
In what very well could be a first round match at a lot of tournaments, Chardy and Evans face off in the final round of qualifying. After returning from suspension, Evans has played great tennis to reach the Top 50 in the world. Chardy is always a solid player and is never an easy opponent, but at 32 he is starting to show his age and has slowed down in the later parts of 2019. Evans has a powerful game and will be able to use that to get past Chardy and continue his run for a potentially large amount of points this week.
Prediction: Evans in 2
Fernando Verdasco vs Taylor Fritz
Both players play fairly well on hard courts, split their two career meetings, but are in the midst of some really tough stretches. Verdasco has been up and down but has not won more than one match at a tournament in several months. Fritz reached the final at Los Cabos, but since that week has lost five of six matches played, with his only win coming at the Laver Cup. Fritz is a really strong hard court player, but Verdasco plays on hard well, especially for a Spaniard. Verdasco is in stronger form and has much more experience in larger tournaments like Shanghai and will leave with a win.
Prediction: Verdasco in 3
Main Photo from Getty.