ATP Belgrade day 1 predictions including Garin vs Rune

The ATP Tour returned to Serbia in 2021 for the first time since 2012 with the clay-court event ATP Belgrade Open. This is his second year back in the Serbian capital at the Novak Tennis Center.

ATP Belgrade day 1 predictions

Fabio Fognini versus Marco Cecchinato

Head to head: Fognini 1-0 cecchinato

In an all-Italian match, Fabio Fognini and Marco Cecchinato will face off in the first round of the ATP Belgrade Open. They have met three times before, but not since 2018. Both players thrive on the clay and should enjoy the conditions in Belgrade. That being said, these two enter this event in completely opposite forms. Fognini is 5-3 on clay this season, with two of his losses coming to the eventual tournament winner. Cecchinato has not won a game this season. He is 0-9. It’s hard to imagine him breaking his unbeaten streak against Fognini.

Prognosis: Fognini in the 2nd
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Mikhail Kukushkin vs. Aljaz Bedene

Head to head: Bedene 1:0 Kukushkin

Wild card Mikhail Kukushkin meets Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene in their second tour-level meeting. Bedene returned to the tour in Indian Wells in March after being missing for over seven months due to a Covid-related illness. He’s been 0-2 since his return, using his protected rank to enter the field.

Kukushkin, 34, has focused on tour events this season but often starts his tournament in the qualifying rounds. He is 5-2 at the ATP and Challenger levels over the past month and has given Taylor Fritz a three-set fight in Miami. Still, Bedene has a better overall game. But his match fitness has fully returned. Probably. If that three sets goes, Kukushkin must be the favorite.

Prediction: Kukushkin in 3
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Richard Gasquet versus Miomir Kecmanovic

Head to Head: First meeting

Richard Gasquet meets 22-year-old Miomir Kecmanovic for the first time at the ATP Belgrade Open. After a disappointing 2021 season, the Frenchman has played well so far in 2022, reaching quarter-finals in his first clay-court tournament of the season in both Montpelier and Marrakech. However, Kecmanovic is currently at a career high of world No. 38 and will no doubt relish the opportunity to play in his hometown of Belgrade.

A year ago he reached the quarterfinals at this event. The NextGen Serb is currently ranked 18th in the Race to Turin and reached both quarterfinals in Indian Wells and Miami. Kecmanovic’s current form coupled with the added motivation of playing at home should have him poised to be a major factor this week.

Prognosis: Kecmanovic in 2
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Cristian Garin versus Holger Rune

Head to head: first date

Cristian Garin has returned to his favorite surface after a very mediocre hard court swing. The Chilean wants to follow up his semi-final run in Houston with a weekend boost in Belgrade. His opponent is 18-year-old Holger Rune. Rune has successfully shot up the world rankings at both the Challenger and Tour levels. This time last year, the Dane held the world No. 322 ranking. He is currently a career-high #72.

This has all the makings of a quality fight from two players thriving on the sand. Garin has already made a name for himself as an elite clay court player while young Rune is still making his way. Still, even after losing, it was hard not to be like how Rune treated him in his 7-6, 5-7 loss to Casper Ruud in Monte-Carlo last week. And that was his ninth match in 10 days. Expect Rune to defeat Garin in a tough three-set.

Prediction: Rune in 3rd

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