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Russia’s Karen Khachanov plays at the Citi Open in Washington, DC, July 30, 2019. (Adrien Perritaz/Keystone via AP)
Russia’s Karen Khachanov plays at the Citi Open in Washington, DC, July 30, 2019. (Adrien Perritaz/Keystone via AP)|Associated Press
Tennis

Citi Open Tennis Tuesday: Abrams picks Bublik vs. Tiafoe, Tsonga vs. Khachanov, Medvedev vs. Frantangelo, Edmund vs. Harris

These matches start at 3:40 pm.

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

Citi Open

Washington, D.C.

Tuesday 7/30/19

Men’s Second Round

Alexander Bublik over Frances Tiafoe

I wish Tiafoe were playing better. Being in D.C. is almost home for him, as he grew up nearby in Maryland. But he’s had a dog of a Spring/Summer so far. He’s lost in the first round in five of the last six tournaments he’s played including a desultory loss to Bernie Tomic last week in Atlanta, which he had no business losing. Bublik, on the other hand, seems to be coming into his own. The Russian lost to Reilly Opelka last week, but the week before he won five matches in a row before losing in the finals of the Hall of Fame Open in the 100 degree heat of Newport, to John Isner, who is a terror on grass. Outside of some Challengers and Miami, Bublik really hasn’t had a great year, but he’s playing well now. And this match is now.

Jo-Willie Tsonga over Karen Khachanov

Why am I picking the 70th ranked player to beat the second seed here in D.C.? Because Khachanov, like a few other notable players, is very overranked. He’s accumulated a 2019 record of only 18-16, while Tsonga is a rugged 22-12, with one title under his belt. Not only that, Tsonga is 2-0, lifetime over Khachanov, with both wins coming in 2017. I’m not quoting any of Tsonga’s wins from 2012 when he was No. 5 in the world. These two wins were 18 months ago or so. It’s rough to pick against a guy who has all the ability in the world, but the Russian hasn’t shown that he can use it to win tournaments. Yet.

Daniil Medvedev over Bjorn Fratangelo

Fratangelo had a nice win over Dr. Ivo on Monday, but Medvedev’s game is too well-rounded to be compared to Karlovic’s. Dr. Ivo can serve, but at 40-years-old, he’s not a great mover, and he never was a great at keeping the ball in play. Medvedev should be able to dictate points without any undue unforced errors in this match, and that will be the difference.

Kyle Edmund over Lloyd Harris

This surface suits both players well, so this match should be competitive and entertaining. Although Harris has the better serve, Edmund does everything else better, and that should mean everything. If Edmund gets to net more than Harris, this match is his. If Harris beats Edmund to net, it could go either way.

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