There will be a handful of intriguing matches on Day 3 of the ATP Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. We’re predicting all eight matches, with four in this article and the other four in a separate article.
Who will advance to the semifinals? We share our thoughts.
ATP Dubai Day 3 Predictions
Andrey Rublev vs Filip Krajinovic
Head-to-head: Rublev 1-2 Krajinovic
This is a meeting between two players who seem to have hit a purple patch in 2020. Andrey Rublev has won a jaw-dropping 14 matches this year, including back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide in January. While Filip Krajinovic shook off the under-performance bug, and arrived to Dubai in good form.
The 27-year-old Serb reached back-to-back semifinals in Montpellier and Rotterdam and each time ran into the in-form Gael Monfils, the eventual champion. For once Krajinovic won’t be bothered about facing Monfils in the semifinals at least, but I suspect Rublev will avenge his defeat to the Serbian in Rotterdam.
Prediction: Rublev in 2
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Alexander Bublik
Head-to-head: Tsitsipas 1-0 Bublik
Stefanos Tsitsipas is facing Alexander Bublik for the second time in as many weeks. The Greek was far too incisive in their meeting in Marseille last week where he won their semifinal in straight sets. Tsitsipas went on to defend his crown and comes to the Dubai Championships with a spring in his step.
The Kazakh will certainly challenge again, but expect Tsitsipas to have the answers in another comfortable win.
Prediction: Tsitsipas in 2
Jan-Lennard Struff vs Nikoloz Basilashvili
Head-to-head: Struff 0-1 Basilashvili
Basilashvili won in their meeting at the Rogers Cup in Canada last year. However, Struff is playing better tennis and just pulled off an upset over Roberto Bautista Agut. Expect another upset here from the German, who likes hard courts better too.
Prediction: Struff in 3
Benoit Paire vs Richard Gasquet
Head-to-head: Paire 2-7 Gasquet
With Benoit Paire, you are not entirely sure what you are going to get. The mercurial Frenchman served another perfect illustration on how he continues to be as unpredictable as ever with his thrilling comeback from the dead against Marin Cilic.
Paire had lost his last five meetings against Cilic including a final-set tiebreak loss at the Australian Open last month. He trailed the Croat 2-6 3-5 and his latest loss was just a mere formality, but somehow Cilic found the most calamitous of collapses, squandering four match points.
Paire’s reward for that terrific win is an all-French affair in the second round against Richard Gasquet, another player he doesn’t have a good record against. Gasquet did miss the first month of the season due to knee injury and on his return in Montpellier, he had to retire in his quarterfinal match against Pospisil. It would be foolish to assume the 33-year-old is playing at 100% right now and that is where Paire could look to inflict more damage.
Prediction: Paire in 3
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