Roberto Bautista Agut will be playing in front of the home crowd when he takes the court for second-round action in Gijon against Sebastian Korda on Thursday. Andrey Rublev and Ilya Ivashka are also hoping to secure a spot in the quarterfinals.
Sebastian Korda vs. (3) Roberto Bautista Agut
Bautista Agut and Korda will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers when they clash in round two of the Gijon Open on Thursday. Their only previous encounter came last summer on the grass courts of Halle, where Korda prevailed 6-3, 7-6(0). Although both guys are all-court players, Bautista Agut should like his chances more at home in Spain. Plus, the the 22nd-ranked Spaniard is playing well. He has quietly put together a 36-15 record this season with three final appearances and two titles.
Whereas Bautista Agut earned an opening bye as the No. 3 seed, Korda got his week started with a 6-4, 6-1 rout of Jaume Munar on Wednesday. The 22-year-old American is 27-19 in 2022 and has now won at least one match in six consecutive tournaments–a stretch that includes two quarterfinal performances. All signs point to a competitive contest, but Bautista Agut has home-court advantage and may be too solid for Korda from the back of the court in relatively slow conditions.
Pick: Bautista Agut in 3
(1) Andrey Rublev vs. Ilya Ivashka
More than a few players are lacking motivation this time of year, but Rublev has Nitto ATP Finals qualification on his mind. The ninth-ranked Russian is in line to be the seventh player to clinch a place in Turin and he is almost 400 points ahead of the current cut line, so he is in good shape but could still use every point he can get. Rublev has picked up seven victories in his last two events, reaching the U.S. Open quarterfinals and the Astana semis.
Up first for Rublev in Gijon is Ivashka, who is 0-2 in the head-to-head series. Both of their previous meetings also came on indoor hard courts, with Rublev getting the job done twice at home in St. Petersburg (4-6, 6-0, 6-4 in 2019 and 6-4, 6-4 last fall). Ivashka’s week did not get off to encouraging start, as he needed two hours and 18 minutes to get past 41-year-old Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4 on Wednesday. A huge step up in competition will likely be too tough for the world No. 70.
Pick: Rublev in 2
The post Gijon R2 previews and predictions: Bautista Agut vs. Korda, Rublev vs. Ivashka appeared first on The Grandstand.