The New York Open heads into the second round on Day 3. This means that some of the big four seeds begin their campaigns.
As always, we bring you predictions for all of the day’s singles action, including Milos Raonic’s first match of the tournament.
Miomir Kecmanovic vs Paolo Lorenzi
Head-to-Head Record: Lorenzi 1-0 Kecmanovic
The tennis gods have brought together two men at diametrically opposite ends of their tennis careers here. As the 20-year-old Serbian sixth seed looks to kick on and win his first senior ATP title he has to pass through the gnarled experience of the 38-year-old Italian.
Kecmanovic has tried to do this once before, at last year’s US Open. Lorenzi foiled him that day in a five-set epic that showed every part of Lorenzi’s craft and knowledge.
The Serbian has reached this round by scoring a good victory against Tommy Paul in round one. He was really able to latch onto the American’s second serve and use this to create numerous break point opportunities, too many for Paul to resist in the end.
Lorenzi has a losing record over his career on indoor courts and Kecmanovic’s improved form may give the Serbian the edge here. Kecmanovic is also by far the highest-ranked player that Lorenzi has encountered on his run so far. It certainly won’t be easy but I just expect the power and accuracy of the Kecmanovic groundstrokes to be just too good for Lorenzi in the end.
Prediction: Kecmanovic in 3.
Andreas Seppi vs Steve Johnson
Head-to-Head Record: Johnson 3-1 Seppi
It feels as though there are a lot of similarities to be seen across the net between these two players. Both are past their peak now, though Johnson is only 30-years-old. Both are journeymen, who although fantastic tennis players, have never really hit the heights in the best tournaments. The winner of this match then will have a huge opportunity to improve their trophy cabinets by making a deep run here in New York.
Seppi certainly didn’t seem to lack motivation in the last round. The Italian saved a match-point against Damir Dzumhur in the third set tiebreak. Johnson also dug deep, saving vital break-points late in the third set against Tennys Sandgren before also winning a third set tiebreak. Yet more similarities then.
I would expect this match to go the distance as well. Both men have losing records over the last twelve months, and also indoors over their careers. It is the Italian though who slightly edges it statistically and I also would trust him slightly more in a long match, despite him being five years older.
Prediction: Seppi in 3.
Marcos Giron vs Ugo Humbert
Head-to-Head Record: First Meeting
Giron seems quite at home in these surroundings at the moment. The fact that the tournament is on home soil certainly helps Giron, who may otherwise have felt uncomfortable in the ATP environment.
The young Frenchman certainly is getting to grips with life in the fast lane of senior tennis. Though only 21 the Frenchman won his maiden ATP title in Auckland just before the Australian Open.
Humbert should be full of confidence and his serve should function well here. It is difficult to see how Giron could create too much pressure on the Humbert delivery. There may well be a good chance of a tie-break in this match. Back the Frenchman to come out of this match on top and in straight sets.
Prediction: Humbert in 2
Kwon Soon-woo vs Milos Raonic
Head-to-Head Record: First Meeting (Raonic def. Kwon at Kooyong Exh. before Australian Open)
Kwon did well in the first round to repel the challenge of Go Soeda over three sets. He is starting to show a little more consistency outside of Asia now, which can only help his ranking going forward.
This will be Raonic’s first match after the quarterfinal defeat to Djokovic in the Australian Open. Before that defeat, the Canadian was looking superb In Melbourne. It has been a while since the tennis world has seen a fit and ready Raonic but if he can maintain his body over a long period of time then Raonic is surely a massive threat at any tournament.
Raonic is favourite to win the trophy on Sunday so he would certainly be expecting to win this opener. Kwon will not be intimated by the Canadian but he will surely know that his best tennis will be required to win. Take Raonic to win this one fairly convincingly if fit.
Prediction: Raonic in 2