The ATP St. Petersburg Open 2019 continues on Wednesday, September 18 and a set of first and second round matches will be played today. Latest Mikhail Kukushkin v Damir Dzumhur & Casper Ruud v Alexander Bublik tips and predictions with their previews along with others can be found below.Get the best odds for ATP Metz Open 2019 with 888Sport here.
*Geo-restrictions apply & pre-funded account needed
Mikhail Kukushkin v Damir Dzumhur Preview
In a clash of previous champions, 2010 winner Mikhail Kukushkin meets 2017 winner Damir Dzumhur in the second round at St. Petersburg. This will be their fifth meeting with Dzumhur having won their first three meetings, with the Kazakh Kukushkin winning the most recent meeting this year at Los Cabos.
Both players have had a start stop season, with Kukushkin looking good to make the round of 16 at Wimbledon, but has not had a particularly consistent season overall. Dzumhur has slipped in the rankings, and is a lucky loser at this tournament and thus has already been through rounds of qualifiers.
While a retirement by Janko Tipsarevic aided Dzumhur make the second round, Kukushkin looked in strong form against rising Italian Jannik Sinner.
Kukushkin and Dzumhur can be sticky customers that are hard to put away, when in the mode. As tends to be the case, matches between these two run close and we can expect the same here.
The Kazakh to edge Dzumhur in three tight sets.
Tip: Kukushkin to win in three sets: 3/1 (888Sport)
Casper Ruud v Alexander Bublik Preview
Two young players with bright future prospects, Casper Ruud and Alexander Bublik meet for the first time, in St.Petersburg.
Young Norwegian Casper Ruud had a good season on the clay, with strong and deep runs at Houston, Sao Paulo and Rio. He also made the third round at the French Open. However, the grass and hard court seasons have not been quite so kind to him with a number of early round exits.
Bublik on the other hand has had a fair run, given his minimal experience on the hard courts, making the round of 32 on a few occasions during the hard court season, including the US Open. He was also a finalist, losing to John Isner at the Newport Hall of Fame ATP 250 on grass.
A good contest on the cards, but given the hard court surface, Bublik will be a favorite to win in two tight sets.
Tip: Alexander Bublik to win in two sets: 6/4 (888Sport)
Joao Sousa v Josef Kovalik Preview
Joao Sousa and Josef Kovalik have met once before on the clay in Bastad earlier this year, and the Portuguese was victorious. This will be their second ever meeting.
Sousa had the best Wimbledon for a Portuguese making the round of sixteen, defeating Marin Cilic and local boy Dan Evans en route. However, his form has dipped since, with a number of first round losses through the hard court season, including the US Open. This has nullified all confidence gained by a good run on grass.
Kovalik is returning from injury and although he won the ATP challenger in Poland last week, it remains to be seen how well he has recovered to compete at this level.
This remains a good opportunity for Sousa to get some form and confidence back again. Expect him to win in straight sets.
Tip: Joao Sousa to win in two sets: 9/10 (888Sport)