Ilya Ivashka in action ahead of the ATP Gijon Open.

ATP Stockholm Day 1 Predictions Including Cressy vs Ivashka

Round 1 of the ATP Stockholm Open includes two former champions, last year’s winner Tommy Paul and 2013 champion Grigor Dimitrov. Cameron Norrie and Taylor Fritz sit at the top of the draw as favorites, and Frances Tiafoe looms large as a contender who will likely get a lot of attention after his run at the US Open. Will either train champion repeat? Can a surprise contender like the sneaky Alex de Minaur steal the tournament? We make our calls below, including Holger Rune vs. Thiago Monteiro.

ATP Stockholm Day 1 Predictions

Cristian Garin vs. Jason Kubler

Head-to-head: first meeting

Jason Kubler started off the year on the Futures and Challenger circuits, but has improved enough to be seen more regularly on the ATP tour of late. His best success came on grass this year, with surprising showings at Wimbledon and Newport, which included wins over Daniel Evans and Felix Auger-Aliassime. He hasn’t done much on hard courts, though, and has only nine matches on the surface this year. However, Garin has about the same number, each player with four wins. Garin is a clay court specialist, and it’s hard to pick him on hard courts, but Kubler is too new to the tour and hasn’t had enough success yet for me to pick him over a seasoned veteran.
Prediction: Garin in 3

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Holger Rune vs. Thiago Monteiro

Head-to-head: first meeting

Holger Rune may look like he’s returned to early-season form after a finals run in Sofia, but I’m not convinced. He had two decent wins over Lorenzo Sonego and Ilya Ivashka, but he has twice recently been the beneficiary of a retirement (including Jannik Sinner in Sofia’s semifinal), and couldn’t overcome #95-ranked Marc-Andrea Huesler for the title. This all came after a long losing streak that ruined the good vibes of what was supposed to be his breakout season.

But he draws a player in Thiago Monteiro who hasn’t had much success on the ATP Tour this year, and recently dropped back down to the Challenger level (although he won the tournament, to his credit). They are both playing mediocre on hard courts this year, and Monteiro’s career win percentage on the surface is poor (only 33%). Rune is likely to see more in his Sofia run than I see in it, and will probably take confidence into this match along with a sense of urgency, and he should be able to get it done.
Prediction: Rune in 3

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Aslan Karatsev vs Lukas Rosol

Head-to-head: first meeting

Aslan Karatsev is just not right this year. After a great start to the season that included a title and six straight wins on hard courts, he has managed just a 9-25 record overall, and 3-14 on hard courts. Under almost every other circumstance I would pick his opponent, but Lukas Rosol was the recipient of a very easy qualification, and enters Stockholm ranked outside the Top 200. Karatsev could give himself an emotional boost with a win here. He is certainly favored, though his poor play won’t allow me to pick him in straight sets even despite the ranking difference.
Prediction: Karatsev in 3

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Maxime Cressy vs Ilya Ivashka

Head-to-head: first meeting

This one looks like it could be headed to an upset. Both players have almost identical win percentages this year, and Ivashka has slightly outplayed Cressy on hard courts. Over their careers, too, Ivashka has a higher win percentage on the surface, and has a title. Furthermore, Cressy has had mixed results since winning a grass title in July, and his wins have not been particularly impressive. Meanwhile, Ivashka has recently beaten Grigor Dimitrov, and then also Lorenzo Musetti and Hubert Hurkacz at the US Open, while also taking Jannik Sinner to five sets at the same tournament.

Ivashka has never been nearly a top player, but has for sure looked his best this last year. They have actually met once in qualifications on clay, with Ivashka the winner, so he will at least have some idea of ​​what’s coming from Cressy’s serve and volley style. If he can keep up with the speedier bounce of Cressy’s powerful serves on hard, he should pull this out.
Prediction: Ivashka in 3

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