Australia’s Nick Kyrgios returns the ball from between his legs to Australia’s Jordan Thompson in a Men’s singles match during day two of Wimbledon. Both me play Monday, July 29, 2019, at the Citi Open. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
Australia’s Nick Kyrgios returns the ball from between his legs to Australia’s Jordan Thompson in a Men’s singles match during day two of Wimbledon. Both me play Monday, July 29, 2019, at the Citi Open. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)|Associated Press

Tennis Monday: Abrams picks the 1st round at the Citi Open - Kyrgios, Opelka, Dr. Ivo, Kudla, Sock, Paul, Kecmanovic, Young, Tsonga and more

Matches start at 1 pm EDT.

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

Citi Open

Washington, D.C.

Monday 7/29/19

Men's Singles

Since all the seeds in the Men’s draw in D.C. got byes, I thought I’d give you my Quick Picks for the first round matches. These matches include players who were not seeded and those who came through qualifying or were lucky losers. There are some really neat matches to watch, and some to bet as well. I’ll give more background as the second round starts with the seeds all playing.

Men’s First Round QuickPicks

Dennis Kudla over Tommy Paul

You think Tommy Paul is back to full strength and going to take out Dennis Kudla? They’ve played four times and Paul hasn’t won once.

Jordan Thompson over Jack Sock

Sock is still making his comeback, and may stand a better chance in the doubles draw, although that draw is totally stacked. Here, he plays Thompson, whom he’s lost two the only two times they’ve played, once in four sets and once in five.

Malik Jaziri over Marc Polmans

I’d like to think that Polmans, a transplanted Aussie, would win this match, considering it’s on hard courts, but he’s never won an ATP Tour match.

Hubert Hurkacz over Donald Young

Donald Young’s window is closed. He now makes his living playing qualies and Futures, and World Team Tennis. He’s happy to be in the main draw and get “big” money. Hurkacz should have no trouble beating the now 30-year old Atlanta native.

Adrian Mannarino over Ilya Ivashka

Mannarino is a Tour regular, and Ivaska is a lucky loser. Here, he won’t be so lucky.

Miomir Kecmanovic over Alexei Popyrin

Kecmanovic is playing better than Popyrin. It’s as simple as that.

Nick Kyrgios over Thai-Son Kwiatkowski

If Kyrgios tries, he’ll beat Kwiatkowski, a qualifier who is more of a Challenger and Futures player. If Kyrgios doesn’t care, he could lose to my dog.

Dan Evans over Yoshihito Nishioka

This will be tight and long, but Evans should prevail over the spirited Nishioka, who seems to be getting better as the year goes on.

Marius Copil over Mikael Torpegaard

Copil has more experience and way more lifetime wins. Although Torpegaard (3-3) has a better lifetime win percentage (58-82).

Reilly Opelka over Christopher Eubanks

These guys play a very similar game, much dependent on their big serves. But at 7’, Opelka has a bigger serve, and plays their game better. Neither can hit groundstrokes well, and Eubanks is still learning how to hit a backhand.

Alexander Bublik over Bradley Klahn

This will be close, as the only match they’ve played Klahn won 7-6, 7-6. Klahn has more experience, but Bublik has done better on Tour.

Ivo Karlovic over Bjorn Fratangelo

These guys have played twice and have split those matches. Karlovic has that patented giant serve, but he’s now 40-years-old and he could tire in the hot D.C. sun. If he doesn’t, I think he’ll serve Fratangelo off the court.

Matt Ebden over Tim Smyczek

Ebden holds a 2-1 lifetime advantage over the American and is ranked 182 spots higher.

Andrey Rublev over Bernie Tomic

Rublev is flying over from Europe, and Tomic is coming up from Atlanta. Rublev may be tired, but it’s not going to matter. We’ll see how much effort Tomic puts into this match.

Ricardas Berankis over Lloyd Harris

Berankis has a better record and more experience while Harris has a bigger serve. I doubt Harris’ serves can overcome Berankis more well-rounded game.

Jo-Willie Tsonga over Brayden Schnur

Tsonga, a former Top Tenner, is not the same player he used to be. He can “tree” for a week at a time, but his average game is now pretty average. Still, he’s good enough to beat the Canadian qualifier as long as he’s relatively healthy.

Wanna bet?

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