The lawn season is not over yet. ATP Newport starts Monday with many top players taking one last dip onto the pitch. Here at Last Word on Tennis, we will be making our predictions on who will advance to the second round. So who will win on Day 1?
ATP Newport day 1 predictions
Peter Gojowczyk versus Ugo Humbert
Head to head: Gojowczyk 1-0
This should be easy to call, but Humbert likes to make a predictor’s life a complete misery. The exuberant Frenchman is capable of sensational tennis but has had a terrible year so far. Still, he showed good form at Wimbledon which should hopefully boost his confidence for the rest of the season.
Gojowczyk has never had any real form or results on grass and probably won’t win this one. Humbert might have a bad set full of mistakes, but his game seems to have more confidence and solidity at the moment and that should be pretty easy – as long as he doesn’t play a shock game.
Prognosis: Humbert in the 2nd
Jason Kubler vs. Jordan Thompson
That should be fun between the two Australians. Kubler was one of the breakout players Wimbledon, and it’s wonderful to see him achieve this at 29 after a hot spell in his career with injuries. He has shown that he is a very good player, especially on the pitch.
Thompson is also excellent on this surface. He won a title this year and looked in good form at Wimbledon. This match could well go a long way but I will support Kubler as his confidence will surely be high after a great SW19 run.Prognosis: Kübler in the 3rd
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Stefan Kozlov versus Steve Johnson
Head to Head: Kozlov 3-1
This is another interesting matchup. Kozlov leads the neck-and-neck race, with two of those wins coming on grass a few years ago. However, Steve Johnson crushed his compatriot 6-0 and 6-0 in qualifying at Queen’s this year. Johnson played great tennis at Wimbledon, while Kozlov was sent home in straight sets by Diego Schwartzman in round one (not that that’s anything but embarrassing).
Kozlov is a skilled player and can be a really tough opponent but his form doesn’t seem great at the moment. Johnson comes in as a favorite for me because of his form and experience, but things could potentially get interesting if Kozlov finds his best tennis.
Prognosis: Johnson in 2nd place
Radu Albot vs Jack Sock
Head to Head: Sock 2 – 0
Jack Socks is definitely on the way back to be a great player again. The American’s comeback process has been tough, but he’s been patient and the results are definitely showing now. He would have been disappointed if he lost to Kubler at Wimbledon but there are a lot of positives for him at the moment.
Albot is far less explosive than Sock and can’t defend as well as usual on this surface. It depends on how well the American serves and hits his forehand, but this should be a fairly routine win. Sock has the dominant weapons and Albot can do little to stop him on the pitch. Expect Sock to get through here.
Prognosis: socks in 2nd
Main photo by Getty.