ATP Adelaide International Day 1 Predictions Including Reilly Opelka vs Pablo Cuevas

Pablo Cuevas Adelaide International

Although headliner and original top seed Novak Djokovic has withdrawn, having led Serbia into the inaugural ATP Cup final, there should be no shortage of entertaining action at the Adelaide International. A number of big names have made the trip to South Australia to put the final touches on their preparations for the Australian Open. But who will advance on day one?

Adelaide International Day One Predictions

Stephane Robert vs Lloyd Harris

Head-to-head: first meeting

Lloyd Harris enjoyed a solid week at the ATP Cup, where he picked up a win over Chile’s Nicolas Jarry in the round-robin stage. But unfortunately for South Africa, he and the returning Kevin Anderson proved unable to advance into the last eight. Undeterred by that setback, Harris hammered Mikalai Haliak in the first round of qualifying and he will now be looking to get past the veteran Stephane Robert to secure a place in the main draw.

Robert, now 39, also made a fast start to his qualifying campaign, dismissing Adelaide native Bradley Mousley 6-4 6-0. However, Mousley has never broken into the world’s top 250, whereas Harris currently sits at 99th in the ATP rankings, with a career-high ranking of world #82. The South African has formidable power, even if he does sometimes struggle to rein that in with accuracy, and Robert has not played much tennis in the last six months. Expect Harris to advance comfortably enough.

Prediction: Harris in 2

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Taylor Fritz vs Alexander Bublik

Head-to-head: Bublik 1-0 Fritz

Both men have already played one event this season and both got off to rather disappointing starts. Taylor Fritz’s losses to Karen Khachanov and Stefano Travaglia proved to be decisive in the USA’s team’s failure to get out of the ATP Cup group stage, whilst Alexander Bublik fell in the second round in Doha, losing 3-6 5-7 after upsetting seventh seed Adrian Mannarino in his opener. As a result, both men will surely be desperate to secure a confidence boosting win ahead of the Australian Open.

Bublik will at least be able to take confidence from having beaten Fritz in their only previous meeting, which came last season in Chengdu. That 4-6 7-5 7-5 saw few opportunities to break generated by either man and it seems likely that this match will also be dominated by the server. But the fast surface at the Adelaide International should suit the unpredictable, but aggressive Bublik, particularly if he looks to move forward regularly.

Prediction: Bublik in 3
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Alexei Popyrin vs Laslo Djere

Head-to-head: Djere 1-0 Popyrin

Alexei Popyrin will surely be determined to take advantage of the Australian summer swing to earn enough points to secure more regular direct entry to tour-level events. There is no doubt the 20-year-old has talent and he had a generally impressive year in 2019, but he will surely be frustrated by the manner of his 2-6 4-6 defeat at the hands of Corentin Moutet in the final round of qualifying at the Qatar Open, although in his defence the Frenchman did enjoy the best week of his career in Doha.

Laslo Djere, meanwhile, was well-beaten in the second round in Doha by Pierre-Hugues Herbert, winning just four games. And whilst he took this pair’s only previous meeting, which came last year at Roland Garros, Popyrin will almost certainly be a much tougher proposition on the fast hard-courts in Adelaide. Moreover, he will be able to feed off the support of the Australian crowd, who will surely be vocal in their support of the young gun.

Prediction: Popyrin in 3
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Reilly Opelka vs Pablo Cuevas

Head-to-head: first meeting

Despite not even stepping on to the court as the American #3 at the ATP Cup, Reilly Opelka had a much better week than Pablo Cuevas. The Uruguayan dropped all three of his group stage matches, including a humbling 0-6 1-6 loss to Yoshihito Nishioka. Cuevas will surely be badly short of confidence heading into the Adelaide International as a result. Opelka may be somewhat rusty, but his serve is always reliable and he has the power off the ground to force Cuevas on to the backfoot. Expect Cuevas’ miserable start to 2020 to continue in South Australia.

Prediction: Opelka in 2

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