The Chile Open is rapidly approaching its conclusion. It has been an excellent week of tennis in Santiago, albeit one now devoid of Chilean talent, and the excitement should continue into semifinals day. But who will make it into Sunday’s showpiece final?
Chile Open Semifinal Predictions
Thiago Seyboth Wild vs Renzo Olivo
Head-to-head: first meeting
Twice this week at the Chile Open Renzo Olivo has looked to be down amongst the dead men. In the quarterfinals, he somehow rallied past Pablo Cuevas and he survived another almighty scare against Hugo Dellien, breaking the Bolivian as he served for the match in the decider, eventually claiming a 3-6 7-6 7-5 win. That secured him a spot in his second tour-level semifinal (Hamburg, 2016), where he will face the Brazilian young gun Thiago Seyboth Wild.
The 19-year-old enjoyed a fine week in front of his home crowd at the Rio Open, reaching the quarterfinals, and he has backed that up in Santiago. After battling into the quarterfinals with hard-fought wins over Facundo Bagnis and Juan Ignacio Londero, he was surely well-aware that his last-eight opponent Cristian Garin was not at full fitness. But where many may have been distracted by that knowledge, Seyboth Wild stuck to his task to win the first set, having saved a set point, at which point Garin withdrew.
Olivo, who endured a disappointing 2019, has looked determined to make amends for that below-par season this week at the Chile Open. But having battled so hard to reach the semifinals, he may have a difficult day attempting to impose himself against the explosive Seyboth Wild. The Brazilian has shown this week an admirable ability to dictate play, particularly off the forehand side, and expect him to reach the first final of his career. Probably the first of many.
Prediction: Seyboth Wild in 2
Albert Ramos Vinolas vs Casper Ruud
Head-to-head: Ramos 4-0 Ruud
Although Ramos Vinolas’ best days are surely now behind him and Ruud has not quite yet developed into the world-class clay-courter he aspires to be, they are amongst the best 25 clay-court players on the men’s tour right now according to Tennis Abstract’s clay-specific ELO Ratings. This promises to be some match as a result, which the Chile Open organisers will surely be delighted by, all the more so following Cristian Garin’s difficult week.
The left-handed Spaniard has always found a way to prevail against the Norwegian, with all four wins coming on clay, including two victories last year. However, in the final round of qualifying at the 2019 Madrid Open, Ruud squandered a 6-2 5-2 lead. The level was there, but the mentality at the point was not. However, having spent his off-season training with Rafael Nadal, Ruud appears to be that much sharper in that department and has made a fine start to the year.
During the post-Wimbledon clay-court swing, Ramos Vinolas performed superbly, picking up 12 wins in Bastad, Gstaad and Kitzbuhel, which has maintained his ranking even as he endured an uneven start to the 2020 season. But he has done little so far in 2020 to suggest that he will be able to get the better of a player of Ruud’s quality, with the Norwegian having already won the Argentina Open. Provided Ruud can shake off the mental burden of the head-to-head deficit, expect him to clinch his first win over Ramos Vinolas.
Prediction: Ruud in 3
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