Five remaining first-round matches and three second-round clashes will be played on Day 3 in Rotterdam on Wednesday. Top-seeded Daniil Medvedev and defending champion Gael Monfils will kick off their campaigns. We’re predicting four of those matches in this article. We also have predictions for the other four matches, including Grigor Dimitrov’s stunning duel against Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime. Who do you think will prevail?
ATP Rotterdam Day 3 Predictions
Robin Haase vs David Goffin
Head-to-head: Goffin 6-1
Still a direct acceptance last year, Robin Haase has now fallen all the way to no. 167 in the ATP Rankings, therefore requiring a wildcard to get to the main draw here. It has been a rapid decline for the Dutchman and his first three events this year don’t suggest anything will change.
David Goffin has always dominated this matchup in the past (except a clay-court loss in Gstaad). The Belgian has been looking fantastic since the start of the season, getting some quality playtime in and has already played three matches indoors this season. The crowd support will be huge for Haase but it can’t change the fact that Goffin is simply a much superior player at the moment.
Prediction: Goffin in 2
Mikhail Kukushkin vs Gilles Simon
Head-to-head: Simon 3-0
That could be a tricky matchup between two of the flattest hitters in the game. Mikhail Kukushkin played just two events in January, picking up a win over Malik Jaziri in Doha. The Kazakh had to qualify for the main draw here but he was only required to win one match against Yannick Maden.
Gilles Simon has been just slightly better, taking out Pablo Cuevas at the Australian Open and Lloyd Harris at the ATP Cup. The Frenchman has already played one indoor event the week before, at Montpellier, where he lost in straight sets to compatriot Richard Gasquet. While both players generally have a similar style, Simon’s point construction ability seems to be the most deciding factor in this matchup. The Frenchman is also fitter recently and has enjoyed much more success indoors over the course of his career.
Prediction: Simon in 3
Gael Monfils vs Joao Sousa
Head-to-head: Monfils in 3
The defending champion, Gael Monfils, is back to Rotterdam after a stellar start to the season. He was particularly impressive last week in Montpellier as he took the title there losing just one set on the way. The Wednesday start will help to regenerate after that effort.
Joao Sousa is yet to win a match, let alone a set, in his last five events. The Portuguese had a fair share of good wins indoors in the past (even beat Monfils in Metz once), but on current form, this is a huge mismatch. Monfils’ court coverage will be extremely frustrating for a player heavily down on confidence.
Prediction: Monfils in 2
Daniil Medvedev vs Vasek Pospisil
Head-to-head: Medvedev 1-0
We all know who strikes out as a heavy favorite here. But don’t make the mistake of underestimating Vasek Pospisil. The Canadian has been playing brilliant tennis since about October, going a little under the radar. October was also when the two met for the first time, with Pospisil missing five set points to go a set up. Arriving in Rotterdam after a runner-up finish in Montpellier, the Canadian might be a bit tired but the two days of rest he got will surely help with that.
The quality of Daniil Medvedev’s tennis doesn’t have to be advertised. Although the Russian hasn’t reached the heights of his brilliant series of six straight finals from last Autumn, he’s still a very dangerous force. Pospisil appeared very tired at the end of the week in Montpellier and that makes me lean towards Medvedev. But the Canadian’s serve and forehand combination will surely do damage to the top seed.
Prediction: Medvedev in 3
Main Photo from Getty.