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Roberto Bautista Agut, of Spain, seen here in Miami, plays today in Gstaad.
Roberto Bautista Agut, of Spain, seen here in Miami, plays today in Gstaad.|Lynne Sladky | Associated Press

Swiss Open tennis Thursday: Abrams picks the 2nd Round – Bautista Agut vs. Munar, Lajovic vs. Istomin, Sousa vs. Moroni, Andujar vs. Daniel

Matches start at 4:30 am EDT.

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open

Gstaad, Switzerland

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Men’s Second Round

Roberto Bautista Agut over Jaume Munar

RBA is now ranked 13th in the world, and is a legitimate top-tier player. He’ll face off against fellow Spaniard Juame Munar, who is no pushover himself. Munar, at just 22-years-old, is a fast rising Spaniard from Mallorca, the same hometown of Rafa Nadal, and, like Nadal, is best on the clay. But his game, no matter how solid, is just not as good as RBA’s. RBA is 28-12 this year. Munar is only 16-18, after his first round win here. This one should be a pretty clear cut victory for Bautista Agut.

Dusan Lajovic over Denis Istomin

Dusan Lajovic played Denis Istomin three times in matches that the ATP doesn’t recognize with the Serbian winning all three decisively. When they squared off earlier this year in a Davis Cup qualifying match, the Russian beat Lajovic in straight sets, no problem. I think Lajovic wants revenge, and he’ll get it here on the dirt in Gstaad. He’s ranked higher, has a record of 17-16 (to Istomin’s 3-11), and is the better player.

Joao Sousa over Gian Marco Moroni

Slam-dunk of the day! Portugal-born Joao Sousa has been around for a while, at age 30; long enough to collect over $6.4 Million in prize money. He’ll be playing 21-year-old Italian rookie Gian Marco Moroni, a 6-2, 6-2 victor over aging Spaniard Tommy Robredo. Gee, I remember watching Robredo play the U.S. Open before the attack on 9/11, so he’s got to be getting up there now. That win barely counts. Sousa, a solid, veteran pro, should romp on experience alone.

Pablo Andujar over Taro Daniel

One thing you can say for Taro Daniel, the American who plays for Japan, is that he tries hard. If not for that, no one would have ever heard of the guy. He doesn’t do anything particularly well, but he’s a fighter, and he stays with every match. Heck, he stays in every point! He had a good draw and trounced qualifier Filippo Baldi in the first round with no trouble, but will have his hands full with Spain’s Pablo Andujar. Andujar is 33 now, and not having one of his better years, ranked just No. 79, but he should be able to take out Daniel, who is struggling to keep his ranking close to tennis’ Mendoza line—100. Daniel is weighing in at No. 111, not quite good enough to get into the main draw at the U.S. Open, which is quickly rising on the horizon.

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