Montpellier Open 2023 Day 2: Men's singles predictions ft. Filip Krajinovic vs Aslan Karatsev | Open Sud de France
The second day of main draw action at the 2023 Open Sud de France in Montpellier continues on Tuesday (February 7).
The first day of main draw matches had a surprising result. Three-time winner Richard Gasquet, coming off a title win in Auckland earlier this year, bit the dust in straight sets against Arthur Fils, who notched up his first tour-level win.
In the only other first-round match of the day, Nikoloz Basilashvili recovered from the loss of a set to down Frenchman Constant Lestienne and reach the next round.
The second day of main-draw action in Montpellier will feature seven singles matches. Let's have a look at the predictions:
#1 Clement Chidekh vs Quentin Halys
In an all-French affair, 70th-ranked Quentin Halys will take on qualifier Clement Chidekh, ranked 434th in the world.
Halys made the second round at the Adelaide International 1 and the quarterfinals in Auckland before losing to eventual finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Australian Open first round. Chidekh, meanwhile, is making his ATP main draw debut.
On paper, the contest appears to be a mismatch, considering the gulf in experience between the two Frenchmen and Halys should be the favorite to take this one rather easily.
Prediction: Halys in straight sets
#2 Marc-Andrea Huesler vs Luca van Assche
Marc-Andrea Huesler will open his Open Sud de France campaign against French wildcard Luca van Assche.
The World No. 49 Huesler is off to a good start to the year, winning five of his seven matches to break into the top 50. Van Assche, meanwhile, will look for his first ATP tour level win in his third attempt, having lost in the first round of the Australian Open last month.
Huesler, coming off a win over former top 10 player Alexander Zverev in the Davis Cup, should have no problems against the 145th-ranked Van Assche.
Prediction: Huesler in straight sets
#3 Benzamin Bonzi vs Lorenzo Sonego
Frenchman Benzamin Bonzi will open his Montpellier campaign against Italy's Lorenzo Sonego.
The eighth-seeded Bonzi, ranked 42nd in the world, is off to a 6-4 start in 2023, making the final in Pune and the third round at the Australian Open. Meanwhile, the 56th-ranked Sonego has won only one of his four matches this year.
Bonzi won the pair's lone meeting in the Indian Wells first round last year and should prevail against the Italian again.
Prediction: Bonzi in three sets
#4 Luca Nardi vs Arthur Rinderknech
Qualifier Luca Nardi will look to notch up only his second ATP tour win when he takes on Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech.
Nardi, ranked 164th in the world, will be playing his first ATP singles match of the year. Meanwhile, the 68th-ranked Rinderknech is on a three-match losing run since opening his 2023 campaign with a win in the United Cup.
Rinderknech will fancy his chances of returning to winning ways against his Italian opponent.
Prediction: Rinderknech in straight sets
#5 Filip Krajinovic vs Aslan Karatsev
Filip Krajinovic will open his Open Sud de France campaign against Russia's Aslan Karatsev.
The 71st-ranked Krajinovic is 2-2 on the season, making the quarterfinals in Pune. He's coming off a first-round loss at the Australian Open, though. Karatsev, meanwhile, has won three of his five matches this year, with all three wins coming in Pune, where he reached the semifinals.
The two players have never met before, and this match is a tight one to call. Nevertheless, expect Krajinovic to edge through in three sets.
Prediction: Krajinovic in three sets
#6 Maxime Cressy vs Antoine Bellier
American Maxime Cressy will look to open his Montpellier campaign with a win when he takes on qualifier Antoine Bellier.
Cressy, ranked 51st in the world, is 1-2 on the season and is coming off a second-round showing at the Australian Open last month. Meanwhile, the 170th-ranked Bellier will be making his season debut.
The two players have never met before, but going by the difference in their ATP ranking, Cressy should take this one in straight sets.
Prediction: Cressy in straight sets
#7 Marton Fucsovics vs Geoffrey Blancaneaux
World No. 69 Marton Fucsovics will open his Montpellier campaign against Frenchman Geoffrey Blancaneaux.
Fucsovics endured a five-set third-round loss to Jannik Sinner at the Australian Open. The Hungarian is coming off consecutive losses in the Davis Cup, having won the Canberra Challenger title earlier this year. Blancaneaux, meanwhile, will look for his first ATP tour level win in his fifth attempt.
On paper, the match seems like a mismatch, but Blancaneaux will fancy his chances against an opponent who has lost his last two matches in straight sets.
Prediction: Blancaneaux in three sets