The first match in this group is scheduled for Wednesday at 3:15 pm EDT
Nicolaz Basilashvili over Jenson Brooksby
Like every other tennis player in the world, Nicolaz Basilashvili is streaky. When he’s good, he’s almost unbeatable, but when he’s off his game he’s an easy target. The past two months he’s played well, and even his close three-set loss two weeks ago in Cincinnati is looking better since Andrey Rublev, his conquerer, beat the Greek God, Stefanos Tsitsipas, in the first round here. Basilashvili should have a lot of advantages over American 18-year-old Jenson Brooksby, but Brooksby will have the benefit of anonymity and a huge American fan contingent on his side. I doubt it will do much good, but if the Georgian throws in a clunker, Brooksby will take advantage of it.
Reilly Opelka over Dominik Koepfer
It’s the rare tennis player who can effectively return serve from a 7’ player for five full sets, and I’m betting that the 25-year-old German, Dominik Koepfer, is not one of those rare players. After Opelka took out the Fabulous Fognini in Round One, it would be a real letdown if he lost to the 118th ranked German.
Borna Coric over Grigor Dimitrov
Well, at least Grigor Dimitrov didn’t have to play Stan Wawrinka yet again in the first round here. With a nice win over Andreas Seppi, Dimitrov must feel much more confident than after his last four matches against Wawrinka. Still, Seppi is a clay court specialist, and Coric, the 12th ranked player in the world, is a much better all-court player. Coric is confident, which is very meaningful, but if Dimitrov digs his teeth into this match and has a flashback to 2017, when he was #3 in the world, you never know.
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