Among the players in first round action at the Olympics men’s singles on Saturday, July are Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia, and Marcos Giron of the USA. Basilashvili will face Roberto Carballes-Baena of Spain, and Giron will play Norbert Gombos of Slovakia. Get the live streaming options for these matches along with Liam Broady v Francisco Cerundulo and Sumit Nagal v Denis Istomin.
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Nikoloz Basilashvili v Roberto Carballes-Baena Preview
The Georgian number one, Basilashvili has already won two ATP tournaments this year, winning on the hard courts of Qatar and the clay courts of Munich.
That brought his career haul of titles to win, and he has also been beaten in two other finals.
Despite that, he has a disappointing record in major events, with his fourth round at the US Open in 2018 the best he has managed.
Since his exploits in Bavaria, he reached the semi-finals in Halle, losing eventually to Andrey Rublev, but was beaten in the first round of Wimbledon by Andy Murray. He was last in action in Hamburg, where the two time previous winner lost in the second round.
Carballes-Baena won hs solitary singles title at the Ecuador Open in 2018, although he did enjoy doubles success at the Chile Open two years later.
He has though been a serial finalist on the lower tours, where he has won 17 tournaments, all of them on clay, most recently in Belgrade in April.
In terms of the main ATP tour, he has just come off hs best run of the year, reaching the semi-final of the Bastad Open, and beating Fabio Fognini along the way, before losing to the top seed Caster Ruud.
Basilashvili is the clear favourite for this match. He has proved himself an all-court player, whereas the Spaniard struggles away from clay.
Basilashvili v Carballes-Baena Tip
Basilashvili to win: 1/2 (bet365)
Marcos Giron v Norbert Gombos Preview
Giron has been picked for the Olympics because several higher ranked Americans chose not to make the trip to Japan.
The 27-year old has something of a breakthrough in the last few months of last year, reaching the second round of a Grand Slam for the maiden time at the US Open and recording his first win over a top ten player when beating Matteo Berrettini at the Paris Masters.
He has continued that form into 2021, reaching the third round of the French Open and his first quarter-final of an ATP 500 tournament in Halle, propelling him to a career high ranking of 64 in the world.
He has appeared in 13 finals on the lower tours, all on hard courts, winning eight of them.
Gombos has been the Slovak number one for some years, although the rise of players like Alex Molcan is now threatening that status.
A member of the Slovak Davis Cup team. He has never achieved senior tour success, although, on the junior circuits, he has won 12 titles, in a mixture of hard and clay court events. The last tournament he won was in Canada two years ago.
He has spent 2021 alternating between the main and Challenger tours, reaching the third round in Andalucía, Parma, and most recently, Bastad.
Giron should win this encounter based on recent form and comparative world ranking.
Giron v Gombos Tip
Giron to win: 8/15 (bet365)
Liam Broady v Francisco Cerundulo Preview
Broady was a late addition to the British team, a replacement for Dan Evans who contracted Covid.
He had a successful junior career, peaking at number two in the world rankings, and winning the doubles at both Wimbledon and the Australian Open. That form has not translated though to his senior career, although he has won seven titles on the lower tours, the most recent of which was back in 2016.
However, he did reach the final of two Challenger events earlier this year.
He is currently ranked 142 in the world, which is his highest on the senior tour, and beat Marco Ceccinato in the first round of Wimbledon.
Like Broady, Cerundulo is one half of a pair of tennis playing siblings. In Broady’s case it is sister Naomi, whilst Cerundulo has younger brother Juan Manuel.
He made his main tour debut on home soil in Buenos Aires in 2019, the same event he caused a surprise at by reaching the final in March, eventually losing to Diego Schwartzman. That same month he also lost in the fianl of a Challenger event in Chile.
Clay is very much his preferred surface, and all but one of his finals on the junior tours have been played on it.
The world number 116 has not enjoyed much success on the ATP tour since that trip to the final but he did qualify for the French Open, only to lose in the first round.
Although Cerundulo is the higher-ranked player, he is a clay court specialist and the Olympics are being played on hard courts. That should give Broady the edge.
Broady v Cerendulo Tip
Broady to win: 8/15 (bet365)
Sumit Nagal v Denis Istomin Preview
Nagal won the boys’ doubles at Wimbledon in 2015, becoming the sixth Indian to win a Grand Slam title and is their current number one ranked player. He represents his country in Davis Cup.
He plays mainly on the Challenger tours, where he has won 11 titles, the most recent of which was a Challenger event in Buenos Aires two years ago.
Earlier this year he got to the quarter-finals in Buenos Aires after coming through the qualifying competition, losing eventually to the Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas,
He also qualified for Barcelona, and, most recently Hamburg, but was beaten in the first round on each occasion.
Istomin, representing Uzbekistan, is now getting towards the tail-end of a career that has seen him claim two senior titles – the Nottingham Open in 2015 and the Chengdu Open in 2017 – and be ranked as high as 33rd in the world. He also beat Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in 2017.
One of the few players on tour to wear glasses, he spends most oi his time these days on the Challenger tour, with his last final appearance last March in Columbus just before lockdown.
His only appearance in a main draw this year was in the French Open where he came through qualifying, only to lose in the first round.
If past achievements were a guide then Istomin would start the clear favourite. However, based on current form, Nagal is tipped to win.
Nagal v Istomin Tip
Nagal to win: 6/5 (bet365)