World Number 58, Tommy Paul of the United States will play Spain’s Feliciano Lopez, the world number 60 in the first round of the 2020 Antwerp Open on Monday, October 19. The match will not start before 3 pm local time (2 pm BST or 9 am Eastern Time). Get the live streaming options of this Tommy Paul v Feliciano Lopez match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Tommy Paul v Feliciano Lopez Head to Head
The pair have never met each other on the tour. This will be the first-ever meeting between them.
Paul’s Chance to Achieve a Career-Best Ranking
The 23-year-old American had a chance to improve on his current world number 58 ranking and achieve a new career-best spot last week in the Sardinia Open.
But he suffered a second-round defeat to a lower-ranked Marco Cecchinato. Now once again he has the chance to get a career-best ranking this week in Antwerp. He would also be hoping that a return to faster indoor courts would help him recapture some of the form he had shown at the start of the season.
Paul began the 2020 season very impressively, with a semi-final run at Adelaide where he started from the qualifying stage. The American followed it up with a third round appearance at the Australian Open and then a last eight run at Acapulco.
He beat a number of high ranked players during that run as well. Paul overcame Grigor Dimitrov in five sets in the second round at the Australian Open and at Acapulco he got the better of Alexander Zverev in the second round.
But since the season resumed after the pandemic break, Paul has struggled for consistency. He crashed out of the first round itself at Cincinatti, the US Open and then in Rome. The 23-year-old looked much better at Hamburg where he reached the round of 16 starting from the qualifying stage. But once against at the French Open and the Sardinia Open, he could not progress beyond the second round.
Veteran Lopez Struggling for Form
When the Spaniard turned pro 23 years ago, his first round opponent Paul was just four months old. That is how long Lopez has been around on the circuit.
And it is a testament to his fitness and consistency that except for a brief spell of two months last year, Lopez has not been out of the top 100 rankings since 2002. Even now at the fag end of his career, the 39 year old is still at a respectable ranking of number 60 in the world.
In the recent years, the Spaniard has done better in the doubles then in singles. He won the French Open men’s doubles in 2016 and followed it up with a US Open finals run in the same category a year later.
But his singles form has suffered quite in the last two-three years. He has won only two out of the six matches since the season resumed. He did reach the quarter final at Kitzbuhel but has failed to go past the opening round at the other three tournaments.
Tommy Paul v Feliciano Lopez Prediction and Tip
Lopez will look make his experience count in this match. He will try to come to the net as frequently as possible and start the match aggressively. But Paul should have enough to see off the veteran in the end. Though it may mean that the match will go the distance.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 11/8 (bet365)