ATP Mallorca Day 3 Tips Including Nick Kyrgios vs Laslo Djere

Players continue to hone their skills on the grass court in preparation for Wimbledon, and the green stretch so far hasn’t been without its surprises. Mallorca has world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev looking to retain his crown after winning the first ATP grass-court tournament played in Spain last year, staged here on Rafael Nadal’s home island. However, the king of clay is absent, but emerging Nick Kyrgios looks like a threat, while Medvedev himself is in fine form having reached two straight finals on grass. Who will advance to Round 2?

Predictions ATP Mallorca Day 3

Botic van de Zandschulp vs Marcos Giron

Head-to-head: Girón 1-0

These two players move slowly in opposite directions. Van de Zandschulp continues his sometimes excruciatingly slow climb up the rankings, but does so inexorably nonetheless. Girón, on the other hand, has not registered a victory since a strong performance in Rome a month ago. Both are severely inexperienced on grass, but van de Zandschulp has done little better. Giron won his only H2H (on hard), but it was in the midst of the Dutchman’s massive rise up the rankings last year, and van de Zandschulp has continued his climb (to 26th, the current career-high) while Giron didn’t. He didn’t move forward. Girón is almost exclusively a hard court player, while Botic has divided his time between hard court and clay. That balance speaks best of adapting to an unfamiliar surface, and the Dutchman has the drive at the moment.
Prediction: Van de Zandschulp in 3

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Dusan Lajovic vs. Daniel Altmeier

Head-to-head: Altmeier 1-0

After early season struggles, Altmeier plunged back into the Challenger Tour. He performed well there, but since he returned to ATP competition he has yet to win a match. His #64 ranking actually feels high in the middle of the season he’s having, which is 3-14. Lajovic can reach quite a high level, as evidenced by several good wins this year, most notably against Casper Ruud on clay. However, he is inconsistent and his overall record this year is slightly better than Altmeier’s. His record on grass is equally worrying (5-14). There aren’t enough stats to make a competent pick here, so we’ll go with the higher-tier wins the Serb has had this year.
Prediction: Lajovic in 3

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Sebastian Baez vs Jordan Thompson

Face to face: first meeting

Baez is as green as the grass he will play on as he is set to make his first appearance on the surface. And what at first seems like a favorable matchup quickly sours when he examines himself closely. Jordan Thompson isn’t a player on the rise like Baez, but he is a competent turf player. He has no ATP matches on the surface this year, but for a warm-up to Mallorca he went 9-1 with a title in two grass-court Challengers. These included a victory over the lauded Dennis Kudla, whose reputation on grass is solid and whose numbers on the surface are nearly identical to Thompson’s. This is not a good matchup for Baez in his first turf appearance, and Thompson should use his experience to frustrate his young opponent.
Prediction: Thompson at 2

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Nick Kyrgios vs. Laslo Djere

Face to face: first meeting

Nick Kyrgios is shooting. He has reached the semi-finals of his last three tournaments and has wins this year over Casper Ruud, Andrey Rublev, Pablo Carreno Busta and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Grass suits him, but not so much for his opponent, who prefers clay on all surfaces. This is a poor draw for Djere, who is having a lackluster season overall. Not only is Kyrgios playing well at the moment, but he tends to handle early opponents with ease (lasting to the later stages of tournaments is still a problem). This is one of the few grass-court matchups where I feel confident picking two.
Prediction: Kyrgios at 2

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