The first ATP 500 event of the season is underway in Rotterdam. The ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament has a 47-year-old tradition. Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas lead the star-studded field, with defending champion Gael Monfils also in contention. But first, let’s take a look at the four first round matches that are to be played on Monday.
ATP Rotterdam Day 1 Predictions
Adrian Mannarino vs Pablo Carreno Busta
Head-to-head: Carreno Busta 1-0
Adrian Mannarino finally managed to get his first win this season, failing to do so in the first three events. Indoor hard is a good surface for the Frenchman’s flat, tricky game and it might allow him to find his rhythm. He’ll be coming from a solid week in Montpellier, which can’t be said about Pablo Carreno Busta.
The Spaniard is an often underrated indoor player, but he didn’t prove that last week, going out to Norbert Gombos in the opening round in Montpellier. Carreno Busta won their only previous meeting on clay in Barcelona two years ago. But on this surface, I would make Mannarino a slight favorite. The lower bounce will help the Frenchman take time away and use his smartly-angled shots to dictate the play.
Prediction: Mannarino in 3
Roberto Bautista Agut vs Marton Fucsovics
Head-to-head: First meeting
Roberto Bautista Agut will be playing for the first time since the Australian Open, where he lost in the third round to Marin Cilic. That might have a been a bit disappointing for the Spaniard, given his fantastic ATP Cup campaign where he managed to win all six matches he contested. Marton Fucsovics overperformed at the Australian Open, turning around his slow start to the year with a brilliant fourth round run. The Hungarian was ultimately taken down by the world no.3 Roger Federer.
Will this performance by Fucsovics be a one-off? Although we’re yet to know for sure, his performance to beat Alexei Popyrin in the final qualifying round doesn’t suggest so. The surface might give the Hungarian something to hold onto in this matchup. Expect him to keep up the good form and make it at least close.
Prediction: Fucsovics in 3
Daniel Evans vs Philipp Kohlschreiber
Surprisingly, Philipp Kohlschreiber is yet to lose a match in 2020. The German kicked off his season with a title at the Canberra Challenger, but had to pull out of the Australian Open after just one match. He’s back in great form though and he proved that by demolishing Sergiy Stakhovsky in the final round of qualifying.
Evans has had a great start too, but went out of the Australian Open with a disappointing loss to Yoshihito Nishioka. Indoor hard is a very good surface for his slice-and-dice game, allowing him to play in the forecourt, where he’s the most dangerous. However, I’ll go with the German on account of him having already played two solid matches here.
Prediction: Kohlschreiber in 3
Denis Shapovalov vs Grigor Dimitrov
Head-to-head: Dimitrov 1-0
Although they were on due course to meet in the third round of the Australian Open, neither of them managed to get this far. Both have only played one match since, losing their opening rounds. Grigor Dimitrov made a horrific number of unforced errors to go out against Gregoire Barrere. The Canadian couldn’t create any chances on return, losing in straight sets to his compatriot, Vasek Pospisil.
The pair met just once on the tour before, four years ago at the Rogers Cup. Shapovalov was just a 17-year-old local wildcard back then, but gave the Bulgarian a pretty good fight. Both are coming off two disappointing outings and will really need the win to get their confidence up. Dimitrov has the more balanced and usually rather consistent game and more ways to win it in case his plan A doesn’t work.
Prediction: Dimitrov in 3
Main Photo from Getty.
Disagree with our ATP Rotterdam Day 1 Predictions? As always, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.