With the R32 highlight matches completed, there were a few surprises along the way. A match I thought would be routine, turned out to be the match of the day. Frances Tiafoe, posted a spirited performance in toppling Alexander Zverev, while Grigor Dimitrov proved me wrong by comfortably handling Feliciano Lopez. That’s the beauty of sport though. You never know what you are gonna get. At the end of the day, we predictors are all just speculating. Well… speculate on we will as we look at today’s highlight matches.
Nick Kyrgios VS Ivo Karlovic (H2H 3 – 0, Kyrgios)
Nick Kyrgios did well to handle the talented and showboating Dolgopolov in the previous round. If history is anything to go by, he should do the same today when he goes up against Dr. Ivo. However, none of their matches have been a cake walk for Kyrgios. Even the lone straight sets win at the 2015 Kuala Lumpur tournament, involved two tie break sets. Fact is, Dr. Ivo’s serve is always going to make him a threat to anyone on any given day. Fact is, Kyrgios has always found that something extra when it counts against the giant Croat. I don’t see that trend stopping today.
John Isner vs Frances Tiafoe (H2H 1 – 0, Isner)
First it was Denis Shapovalov taking advantage of his home tournament wildcard to make a spirited run at the Montreal Masters tournament. Now it’s Frances Tiafoe’s turn. He took out fellow – albeit more established – rising star, Alexander Zverev, in the last round. Can Tiafoe continue that Shapovalov like run by toppling the big John Isner? This is one of those matches that can go either way. The last and only time these two played was in the first round of last year’s U.S Open. Isner won it, but he had to go five sets to do it. I think Tiafoe is poised to go further this time.
Grigor Dimitrov vs Juan Martin Del Potro (H2H 5 – 0, Del Potro)
If there was ever a year Dimitrov could beat the tower of tandil, this would be it. Del Potro is still not back to his sterling 2009 best and many doubt that he ever will be. His backhand is now a vulnerable wing and he’s had a relatively tough 2017. Yet he managed to defeat Dimitrov earlier in the year in Rome. Dimitrov played solidly to defeat Lopez, but it’s clear Del Potro’s game troubles him. To add to that, the Bulgarian’s match to match consistency has always been suspect.
Winner: Del Potro