Day 2 at the ATP Cup brings the top two best players onto court. Rafael Nadal, from Team Spain, will be taking on Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili. Whereas Novak Djokovic, representing Team Serbia, will be taking on South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, who is playing his first match since July 2019. Who will make their countries proud Day 2 here at Australia?
ATP Cup Day 2 Predictions
Novak Djokovic vs Kevin Anderson
Head-to-head: Djokovic leads 8-2
The 33-year-old South African has not played a match since Wimbledon in July last year. The former world no. 5 will be looking to test himself against one of the world’s best as he aims to play a whole competitive season this year.
Djokovic, on the other hand, will be looking to regain his form after his round-robin exit at the London World Tour Finals, which left him without the year-end world no.1 title. The Serb will be the heavy favorite for this match, as many would think it would be a tough order for Anderson, on his first match back, to beat the world no.1.
Prediction: Djokovic in 2
Gael Monfils vs Cristian Garin
Head-to-head: First meeting
Monfils, at 33 years old, is showing no signs of slowing down. The Frenchman finished in the top 10 last year, and narrowly missed out at qualification at the O2 in November. Under the tutelage of coach Liam Smith, the Frenchman is showing signs of maturity and being more consistent in his matches.
Garin, as well, enjoyed a successful 2019 season and finished just outside the top 30 in the end of the year. Both players will be looking to build on their successful season. But for this match, Monfils will have more experience in team events such as Davis Cup, and enjoys playing in these big team events. On paper, Monfils should win for France without much trouble.
Prediction: Monfils in 2
Diego Schwartzman vs Hubert Hurkacz
Head-to-head: First meeting
This should be a good match between the two players who have rather contrasting styles of play. Schwartzman, a counter-punch, who will run all day to retrieve balls and frustrate the opponent. And Hurkacz, who is an aggressive baseliner, and will be looking to use his forehand to do the damage in the rallies.
This the first meeting between the pair. But Schwartzman is the slight favorite coming in. Hurkacz still has a lot of maturing to do as he can be emotionally frustrated at times when things do not go his way.
Prediction: Schwartzman in 3
Rafael Nadal vs Nikoloz Basilashvili
Head-to-head: Nadal leads 3-0
Both enjoyed a successful 2019 in their own way. For Nadal, capturing two Grand Slam titles and ending the year as world no. 1 is just a few honours to name. Basilashvili defended his ATP 500 Hamburg title and ended his year in the top 30 for the second time.
Their last meeting was on the clay in Rome where the Georgian only managed to win a single game in two sets. Expect Basilashvili to win more than a single game, but it still should be a comfortable win for the 19-time Major champion.
Prediction: Nadal in 2
Main Photo from Getty.