R2 previews and predictions: Del Potro vs. Harrison, Troicki vs. Khachanov

Juan Martin Del Potro will be back in action in Estoril when he faces Ryan Harrison during second-round action on Thursday. In Istanbul, meanwhile, Karen Khachanov is looking to maintain his fine clay-court form at the expense of Viktor Troicki.

Estoril Open: Ryan Harrison vs. (5) Juan Martin Del Potro

Del Potro just barely missed out on a first-round bye in Estoril as the No. 5 seed, but he may have been happy to get an extra match under his belt having not played since losing to eventual champion Roger Federer 6-3, 6-4 in the Miami third round. The Argentine showed no rust on Tuesday, blasting Barcelona quarterfinalist Yuichi Sugita 6-1, 6-3 in one hour and 20 minutes. Just 7-4 this season in part due to bad draws as a result of his relatively low ranking at 33rd in the world, Del Potro needs to pick up the pace just a bit if he wants to secure a seed for the French Open.

Up next for the former world No. 4 on Thursday is a third career meeting with Harrison, who trails the head-to-head series 2-0. Del Potro got the job done 6-2, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 at the 2012 U.S. Open and 6-1, 7-5 one summer later in Washington, D.C. Harrison captured his first career ATP title on the indoor hard courts of Memphis in February, but the 52nd-ranked American had not won a main-draw match since until he picked up a rare clay-court victory over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez on Tuesday. A steep step up in competition will likely bring an end to Harrison’s stay in Estoril.

Pick: Del Potro in 2

Istanbul Open: Karen Khachanov vs. (5) Viktor Troicki

Troicki and Khachanov will also be squaring off for the third time in their careers when they clash in the Istanbul second round on Thursday. The head-to-head series is tied up at one win apiece, with Khachanov having prevailed 6-3, 7-5 last fall in Chengdu before Troicki battled to a 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-3, 1-6, 7-6(6) Davis Cup victory on the indoor hard courts of Serbia earlier this season.

Khachanov ended up lifting the trophy in Chengdu–the first of his ATP career–and he is starting to find a similar level in 2017, as well. The 20-year-old Russian started the season with a horrendous 3-10 record, but he is 5-2 so far on clay with a quarterfinal finish last week in Barcelona and a 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-1 victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili on Tuesday. Ranked four spots better than his opponent at 38th in the world, Troicki is a modest 11-10 this year following a 7-5, 6-4 first-round defeat of Marcos Baghdatis. Istanbul’s No. 5 seed is trying to right the ship after suffering a bad 7-5, 6-2 setback at the hands of Laslo Djere in the Budapest second round last month. A more confident Khachanov should be able dictate play with his forehand and pick up another win on the red stuff.

Pick: Khachanov in 3

9 Comments on R2 previews and predictions: Del Potro vs. Harrison, Troicki vs. Khachanov

    • It’s unfortunate that Delpo’s grandfather passed away. Sorry to see him have to withdraw under these sad circumstances. Condolences to Delpo and his family.

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