TennisSection previews the 2022 Dubai Open as Hubert Hurkacz takes on Alex Molcan in the second round on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022.
Hubert Hurkacz is searching for this first ATP quarterfinal of the year. Will it come at the Dubai Open and at the expense of Alex Molcan? The Slovakian lefty is clearly enjoying his second chance after gaining main draw entry as a lucky loser.
Hubert Hurkacz is not messing about at the Dubai Open. The Pole has endured a mixed start to his 2022 campaign. Hurkaczplayed a fine tournament at the ATP Cup as he guided his country into the semifinals for the first time before losing to Spain. Things have since gone awry for the Miami Open champion. He succumbed to a second-round exit at the Australian Open against Adrian Mannarino. And then in his first tournament on European soil, he lost to Italy’ Lorenzo Musettiin the Round of 16. With Miami Open around the corner, Hurkacz needs to bank as many points as he can get between now until the end of March to compensate for a probable loss during his Miami title defense. He did play superbly though inhis Dubai Open first-round match against Alexander Bublik.
Alex Molcan, meanwhile, received a direct berth into the main draw of the Dubai Open as a lucky loser. Molcan lost in the final round of qualifying to Taro Daniel, but was called upon to replace Botic van de Zandschulp to face Lloyd Harris. The Dutchman withdrew from the tournament on short notice due to a reactive Covid-19 test and was in isolation in Doha where he played his last tournament. For Molcan, it was a second bite of the cherry, and he took it upon himself to make amends for his loss to Daniel. The Slovak southpaw slammed eight aces and won 81% first-serve points. He did not face break point in the whole match against the South African who is still chasing for his first win of 2022.
Hubert Hurkacz and Alex Molcan have not played each other on the ATP Tour. Wednesday’s match at the Dubai Open will be their first official meeting. Hurkacz is looking to turn around his disappointing run of results of late. Molcan, meanwhile, thrived as a lucky loser against the winless Lloyd Harris. But the Slovak is going to have a really rough time trying to hit through Hurkacz. The Pole found something close to his best level in his win over Bublik. And if he has another serving masterclass, it could be bad news for the lucky loser.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Hubert Hurkacz to win in straight sets.
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