ATP Delray Beach Open Day 4 Predictions Including Steve Johnson vs Jack Sock 

Steve Johnson at the Delray Beach Open

After an exciting start to the week at the Delray Beach Open, the competition looks set to intensify on day four as eight players do battle for the remaining quarterfinal spots. With both rising stars and former-top ten stalwarts in action, there should be plenty for the fans to enjoy in Florida. But who will book their place in the last eight?

Delray Beach Open Day 4 Predictions

Ugo Humbert vs Miomir Kecmanovic

Head-to-head: Kecmanovic 3-0 Humbert

Miomir Kecmanovic will surely approach this match with real confidence. The Serbian has won all three of his previous meetings with Ugo Humbert, including last week at the New York Open, where he went on to reach the semifinals. That said, there was relatively little between them at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, with Kecmanovic earning his victory by virtue of playing the bigger points better than his opponent, rather than by dominating the match.

That rather suggests that there is scope for Humbert to flip the script at the Delray Beach Open if he can make the right adjustments. He struggled to bring his forehand, his most effective shot, into play regularly enough against Kecmanovic in New York, a failure he will surely have looked to rectify with his team in the intervening period. He was also not helped by an usually efficient serving performance from Kecmanovic, something the Serb may find difficult to replicate in the very different Floridian conditions.

Prediction: Humbert in 3
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Cedrik-Marcel Stebe vs Milos Raonic

Head-to-head: first meeting

Milos Raonic looked to be back to his very best at the Australian Open, only to fall to a tame defeat at the hands of eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals. Of course, the Serbian is an extremely difficult man to beat at Melbourne Park, but the nature of Raonic’s defeat will surely sit poorly with the former-world #3. Indeed, it may have still been on his mind at the New York Open, were he lost to the relatively unheralded Kwon Soon-woo of South Korea.

However, he put in an improved display in the first round at the Delray Beach Open, accounting for Denis Istomin in straight-sets, 6-2 6-2. Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, meanwhile, was taken the distance by the often disinterested Bernard Tomic, but hung tough to win 6-2 3-6 6-2. But it is hard to see him managing to back that up with another win against Raonic. The Canadian possesses formidable power, particularly from the line but also off the forehand-side, and should be able to hit through his opponent and into the last eight without encountering too many problems.

Prediction: Raonic in 2
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Tommy Paul vs Frances Tiafoe

Head-to-head: Tiafoe 2-0 Paul

Tommy Paul has made an excellent start to the season, reaching the semifinals at the Adelaide International and the third round at the Australian Open. That has taken him to a career-high ranking of world #70 and he will surely now be targeting a deep run at the Delray Beach Open. In the first round, he proved far too strong for Daniel Elahi Galan of Columbia, who had replaced the injured Nick Kyrgios in the draw, picking up a comprehensive 6-2 6-4 win.

However, he has lost both of his previous meetings with his second-round opponent, Frances Tiafoe, although this will be their first match on the main tour. And Paul may also take confidence from his compatriot’s struggles so far this season. Tiafoe, who was once ranked as high as 29th in the world, has slipped to world #84 and has found wins hard to come by, both on the ATP Tour and at Challenger-level, with his first-round victory in Delray Beach over Emilio Gomez his first of the season at an ATP event.

But whilst he may have taken some confidence from that, one rather suspects that Paul will offer sterner opposition than the Ecuadorian. Paul has been moving excellently so far in 2020 and using his forehand to devastating effect. Tiafoe has a dangerous forehand of his own, but it has been misfiring for some time now and seems unlikely to seriously threaten Paul. That said, Tiafoe has shown enough so far in 2020 to suggest that he will take this match the distance.

Prediction: Paul in 3
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Steve Johnson vs Jack Sock

Head-to-head: Sock 5-4 Johnson

Jack Sock claimed a much-needed win by beating the defending champion Radu Albot in the first round at the Delray Beach Open. It was his first win in singles since 2018 and will see him at least return to the ATP rankings when they are updated on Monday. But will he be able to back that victory up against his compatriot and sometime doubles partner Steve Johnson, who bested Switzerland’s Henri Laaksonen 7-6 6-4 in the first round in Florida.

It seems a tall order. Sock may have slain some of his personal demons in beating Albot, but it should not be overlooked that the Moldovan was short of match fitness, having been out of action since the ATP Cup in early January. Johnson, in contrast, looks to be in fine fettle and has played some good tennis so far this season, winning a Challenger in Bendigo and reaching the last four in Newport Beach. Expect him to put a halt to his countryman’s comeback, at least for now.

Prediction: Johnson in 2

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