The latest ATP clay court action continues this week in Kitzbühel. Day three sees the second round kick off, with plenty of mouth-watering clashes to get you excited. As throughout the week, we’ll be giving our predictions for today’s play. So, who’s heading into the next round?
ATP Kitzbuhel 3 day forecast
Albert Ramos Vinolas vs Juan Pablo Varelas
Head to head: Ramos-Vinolas 2-0
This is a match that all clay court fans should get excited about. Still playing tennis at the highest level, Ramos-Vinolas remains to this day one of the most consistent players on the tour. He is very solid, a strong ball striker, and he has a great tennis IQ. Hitting him on the mud is a tough job for anyone, and he could be a good contender this week.
Varillas may be a bit of a late bloomer, as his tennis best is on display at the age of 26. Felix Auger-Aliassime has had a terrible French Open dread, and he’s constantly proving he can mix it up with the best, albeit only on clay. Although he plays great, Ramos-Vinolas has all the tools and answers for this showdown. Varela will be out shooting, but the veteran Spaniard is built to win, and I expect he will do the same here.
Prediction: Ramos Vinolas at 3
Roberto Bautista Agut – Jorge Rodionov
Face to face: first meeting
Bautista Agut hasn’t rediscovered the form that put him in the top ten, but he’s still an exceptional player. Although it is Spanish, it is not particularly suitable for clay. He is outwardly a good player, but his best tennis always comes on fast grass and hard courts as in Qatar.
Rodionov He’s someone I’ve been watching for a while. His left-handed game is really exciting to watch, and he’s more than capable of playing at a good level. Unfortunately, he hasn’t yet developed a lethal weapon and I feel this is preventing him from making it to the top 100. I can see him playing great for a group, especially considering he’s a wildcard in his home tournament. However, it is very likely that Bautista Agut will frustrate him and draw fouls from the Austrian racket.
Prediction: Bautista Agut in 3
Jerry Lechica vs Joao Sousa
Face to face: first meeting
Lehecka caught the eye of many with his incredible run to the semi-finals in Rotterdam this year. Understandably, it took some tweaking to adjust to your regular ATP tournaments along with your appearance in Challengers. He’s now suspicious of an exciting talent, but he hasn’t made much of a breakout on clay yet.
Souza is in a strange patch of his career. After his brilliant return to the tour, he was incredibly inconsistent for a while. The Portuguese hits a very powerful flat ball, and has the ability to guide his opponents around the field. Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell if it will come out shot or missing. However, he looked good in his victory over Kopriva and I expect he will have enough to beat this test.
Prediction: Souza at 3
Dominic Thiem vs. Sebastian Offner
Head to Head: Team 1 – 0
How good is Dominic Thiem winning again? 2020 US Open The champ has been going through a rough time for a while, but it looks like he’s finally on the right track now. He’s won five of his last seven matches, arriving here after the quarter-finals in Bastad as well as the semi-finals in Gstaad. Tim looked really good in winning straight sets over Shevchenko, and his confidence seems to be growing game by game.
Offner, his Austrian teammate, pulled off an impressive upset on Tuesday. Many did not expect this, but he did a colossal job to overthrow the cunning Frenchman. This would be a difficult test, one would think. Ofner doesn’t have real weapons, and his previous #3 Earth strikes are sure to come back to full force. Dominic Thiem’s return means potentially bad news for the ATP players who have benefited from his absence, and he will be off for a bit this week if he continues with the matter. Thiem should be fine here.
Prediction: Tim at 2
Feature image via Getty.