Tuesday at the 2020 ATP Adelaide International will feature all the remaining first-round matches and one second-round clash between Daniel Evans and Alexander Bublik. In the match of the day, Jan-Lennard Struff will take on Fernando Verdasco. Who is the favorite to advance?
ATP Adelaide International Day 3 Predictions
Aljaz Bedene vs Tommy Paul
Head-to-head: First meeting
Tommy Paul is playing his first event of the year in Adelaide and has already won two matches in a successful qualifying campaign. The American will take on Aljaz Bedene, who had a great finish to 2019 and seems to have picked up right where he left off. The Slovenian defeated Mikael Ymer and Alexander Bublik to reach the quarterfinals in Doha, before succumbing to Stan Wawrinka.
Bedene has made some improvements to his game recently, particularly on the aggressive side of his game. Serving better than ever, he’s coming into this clash as a slight favorite. But Tommy Paul’s stunning performance to beat Nicolas Jarry in the final round of qualifying shows that it probably won’t come easy. Expect the Slovenian to have just enough to get away with it.
Prediction: Bedene in 3
Albert Ramos-Vinolas vs Jordan Thompson
Head-to-head: Ramos-Vinolas 2-0
Although he was a part of the Spanish ATP Cup runner-up team, Albert Ramos-Vinolas never took the court during the whole nine days of the competition. Jordan Thompson had a premature finish to the 2019 season and unsuccessfully tried to kick off his 2020 campaign in Doha against Miomir Kecmanovic.
Ramos-Vinolas is primarily a clay-court specialist and it’s the surface advantage that will prove to be the key factor here. Besides that, Thompson will have another asset of having the home crowd behind him.
Prediction: Thompson in 3
Pierre-Hugues Herbert vs Alex Bolt
Head-to-head: First meeting
Alex Bolt was one of the sensations of last year’s Australian Open, reaching the third round with wins over Jack Sock and Gilles Simon. Back on home soil this January, Bolt received a wildcard to enter the Adelaide International. He’s coming off a solid week at the Canberra Challenger where he reached the third round, going out in three sets to Dominik Koepfer. His opponent, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, also got three matches under his belt last week, losing in Doha quarterfinals to eventual champion Andrey Rublev.
Herbert has been focusing more on singles lately and although it hasn’t been a complete success, you can see the improvement in the Frenchman’s game. His first-strike, all-court game can very easily set the opponent on the back foot and will likely be a bit much for Bolt to handle. The Aussie is just a player of not the same caliber and the crowd support won’t be enough to make up for that.
Prediction: Herbert in 2
Daniel Evans vs Alexander Bublik
Head-to-head: Bublik 2-0
Both players managed to prove the good form they showed in the first week of the season. After a great week at the ATP Cup, Daniel Evans smashed Juan Ignacio Londero on Monday, disallowing him any baseline rhythm with his disruptive tactics. The day before, Alexander Bublik dismantled Taylor Fritz saving all five break points faced.
The Kazakh has two head-to-head wins from last year but it seems like it should be closer this time. Both opponents excel at disrupting the opponent, they just do it in very different ways. The match should be extremely good to watch with both players playing an all-court game and having some great feel of the ball. Bublik’s game has a fine margin of error and when he’s on, his power should be a significant advantage. I’ll go with him to back up his past two wins but expect it to be very tight this time around.
Prediction: Bublik in 3
Jan-Lennard Struff vs Fernando Verdasco
Head-to-head: Verdasco 2-0
The head-to-head meetings happened on clay a long time ago (2013 and 2014) and shouldn’t really be taken into consideration. Jan-Lennard Struff has made impressive progress since then and the same can’t be said about Fernando Verdasco. Quite surprisingly, Struff was the more solid of the Germans at the ATP Cup. He managed to take two games over Michail Pervolarakis and Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Verdasco is also coming off a good week, having reached the quarterfinals at Doha (lost to Corentin Moutet). But Struff is the slightly less erratic player and his serve will likely sting much more than his opponent’s. Expect the serving discrepancy to make the difference.
Prediction: Struff in 3
Editor’s Note: Verdasco withdrew from the tournament and will be replaced by a Lucky Loser.