Bratislava Challenger Day 3 Predictions Including Kamil Majchrzak vs Ilya Marchenko

Kamil Majchrzak Bratislava Challenger

On the third day at the Bratislava Challenger in Slovakia, the remaining second-round clashes will be completed. A number of excellent players are set to be in action, including several with considerable tour-level experience. But who will book their place in the third round at the Slovak Open?

Bratislava Challenger Day Three Predictions

Gianluca Mager vs Zdenek Kolar

Head-to-head: first meeting

Gianluca Mager has enjoyed a career-best season. The Italian has already scored 43 wins on the Challenger Tour this year and he will be looking to add to that number in Bratislava, where he is seeded 15th. He also recently won his first tour-level match beating Pablo Andujar, who was once ranked as high as 32nd in the world, in the first round in Stockholm. He will open his campaign at the Bratislava Challenger against the qualifier Zdenek Kolar.

The Czech is currently ranked 258th in the world, which would typically gain him entry to an event at this level. But he was able to negotiate the qualifying, benefitting from Zsombor Piros’ retirement midway through the second set, before beating the Frenchman Constant Lestienne in the first round of the main draw in three sets. But Mager is a much better server than Lestienne and indeed Kolar. Expect that superiority from the line to prove the difference in the indoor conditions in Slovakia.

Prediction: Mager in 2
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Marton Fucsovics vs Ilya Ivashka

Head-to-head: Fucsovics 1-0 Ivashka

Marton Fucsovics failed to repeat his 2018 successes on the ATP Tour, a year which saw him reach the fourth round at the Australian Open and win a tour-level title on the clay courts in Geneva. But he was able to cement his position as a regular on the main tour, playing 48 matches at that level in 2019 and reaching a career-high ranking of world #31 in March. His appearance at the Slovak Open will be his first at a Challenger in 2019.

Ilya Ivashka, meanwhile, has had to search for points on the Challenger Tour, largely due to a three-month injury break he took between April and July. He is certainly a better player than his ranking suggests and scored eight tour-level wins this year. In the first round in Bratislava, he proved too strong for Elliot Benchetrit, winning 7-5 6-1. Both men will be keen to claim a confidence-building win. But Fucsovics should be that much more match tough and resilient in the vital moments.

Prediction: Fucsovics in 3
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Stefano Travaglia vs Sergiy Stakhovsky

Head-to-head: Stakhovsky 1-0 Travaglia

Sergiy Stakhovsky’s aggressive, net-rushing style of play ensures that the Ukrainian can never be written off indoors. Stahkovsky, who famously beat Roger Federer in four sets in the second round at Wimbledon, has struggled to find any sort of consistency this season. But he needs a good result at the Bratislava Challenger to keep his hopes of extending his record of 11 straight finishes inside the world’s top 150 alive. He made a good start by beating Attila Balazs 6-4 6-4 in his opener.

Stefano Travaglia is typically at his best on clay, but he’s had a couple of great wins indoors lately, beating sixth seed and New York Open champion Reilly Opelka in the first-round at the Stockholm Open. Indeed, it has been a breakthrough season for Travaglia. He does lack a standout shot, but he covers the court extremely well and gives little away. That said, the conditions suit the more attacking Stakhovsky. This one looks set to be close, but if Stakhovsky can get into the forecourt often and play the match on his terms, he should edge it.

Prediction: Stakhovsky in 3
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Kamil Majchrzak vs Ilya Marchenko

Head-to-head: first meeting

Kamil Majchrzak made an excellent start to the year on the Challenger Tour, winning titles in St. Brieuc and Ostrava. That fine run of form saw him make his debut in the top 100 and reach the third round at the US Open, where he lost to eventual semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov. But he has struggled in this final stretch of the season and he has won back-to-back matches just once since the US Open. At the Bratislava Challenger, he looks set for a tough start up against Ilya Marchenko.

The Ukrainian has been as high as 49th in the world rankings and, after a period out of the game with injury, Marchenko announced his return by winning the title in Nur-Sultan a month ago. Having also reached quarterfinals in Brest and Eckental, he arrives at the Bratislava Challenger with real momentum. Majchrzak is hitting a bigger ball than in previous years, but he still lacks a reliable weapon to finish off points. Marchenko, already in better form, does not have that problem. Expect him to just edge this one as a result.

Prediction: Marchenko in 3

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