Halle R2 previews and predictions: Zverev vs. Kohlschreiber, Thiem vs. Haase

It will be an all-German affair in front of the home crowd when Alexander Zverev and Philipp Kohlschreiber collide during second-round action on Wednesday. Dominic Thiem and Robin Haase are also aiming for a place in the quarterfinals.

Philipp Kohlschreiber vs. (4) Alexander Zverev

Zverev is an absolute lock for the NextGen ATP Finals in Milan, but he should already be thinking about a more important invite-only tournament this fall: the World Tour Finals. The 20-year-old German is up to No. 12 in the world and he is fifth in the race to London after two Grand Slams and five Masters 1000 events. Although Zverev lost in last week’s ‘s-Hertogenbosch second round to eventual champion Gilles Muller, he beat Paolo Lorenzo 6-3, 6-2 at the Gerry Weber Open on Tuesday.

Up next for the fourth seed on Wednesday is a third career showdown against Kohlschreiber, who is sweeping the head-to-head series 2-0. The 33-year-old German got the job done twice in 2015; 6-2, 6-4 on the red clay of Munich and 6-7(0), 6-2, 6-0, 2-6, 6-4 in round one of the U.S. Open. Unfortunately for Kohlschreiber, his younger countryman’s rise has coincided with a minor fall of his own. The veteran is down at No. 56 in the rankings and he is a mediocre 17-13 this season. Kohlschreiber struggled just a bit in his Halle opener but managed to scrape past Joao Sousa in three sets on Monday. A steep step up in competition should see the end of Kohlschreiber’s week.

Pick: Zverev in 2

Robin Haase vs. (2) Dominic Thiem

Thiem and Haase will be squaring off for the fifth time in their careers and for the second time this season. The head-to-head series is all tied up at two wins apiece, with Thiem having taken their two most recent meetings. He prevailed 0-6, 7-6(5), 7-5 on the indoor hard courts of Basel and 6-3, 6-2 a few months ago in Monte-Carlo. The latter result should come as no surprise, because Thiem has become a serious force on clay. The eighth-ranked Austrian is third in the race to London behind Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer thanks in part to a recent semifinal run at Roland Garros. He opened on Monday in Halle and took care of Maximilian Marterer 7-5, 6-3.

Haase battled into the last 16 by overcoming David Ferrer 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 on Tuesday. The 42nd-ranked Dutchman is arguably at his best on the slow stuff, as well, having reached four of his five ATP finals on that surface and securing each of his two titles. On grass, Haase has advanced to the Wimbledon second round each of the last three years and he pushed Nadal–the eventual champion–to five sets in 2010. This could be a tough one for Thiem because of the surface, but the second seed should eventually overpower Haase while also showcasing too much variety.

Pick: Thiem in 3

13 Comments on Halle R2 previews and predictions: Zverev vs. Kohlschreiber, Thiem vs. Haase

  1. I decided again to put my entire bankroll on this prick dimitrov and again he loses as a big favorite against a much weaker player. This freaking donkey dimitrov I don’t know. He doesn’t deserve the name mini fed

    • I think I gotta stop betting these small tournment. It’s like they don’t play as well as they would as in a major. For example raonic and Murray losing like yesterday won’t happen during a major when they are well prepared

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