TennisSection previews the 2022 Vienna Open as Hubert Hurkacz takes on Frances Tiafoe in the first round on Tuesday, October 25th, 2022.
In his fourth visit to the Vienna Open, Hubert Hurkacz will be chasing just his second win in Austria’s capital. But he faces a stern test against one of the ATP’s most in-form players in 2022 in Frances Tiafoe. Who will prevail?
Hubert Hurkacz has left it too late again to qualify for the season-ending championships in Turin. The Pole is currently outside the top eight spots in the ATP Race and will need a huge slice of luck to go his way if he is to qualify for the second year in a row. Hurkacz will likely need to win the Vienna Open to close the gap on Felix Auger-Aliassime who is in the driver’s seat for the last remaining spot. And that may even not be sufficient unless he can also produce another deep run in Paris – potentially also needing to win the title. But first, he will need to address his poor record in Vienna when he takes on Frances Tiafoe in a heavyweight first round.
Frances Tiafoe, meanwhile, is having the best season of his career although he hasn’t converted it into winning titles. ‘Big Foe’ has been to two finals this year and lost them both, and also memorably defeated Rafael Nadal en route to his first Grand Slam semifinal at the US Open. Such accomplishments have taken him to the dizzying heights of Top 20. He is USA’s no. 2 at a career-high ranking of No. 17. How will he fare on his return to the Vienna Open – another tournament Tiafoe left an indelible mark last season?
Hubert Hurkacz and Frances Tiafoe are tied at 2-2 in their head-to-head. Hurkacz has won their last two meetings, but haven’t played since 2021 Indian Wells. A lot has happened since then, with Tiafoe now very much a solid competitor at the ATP’s biggest events. But I have been thoroughly disappointed with his level in Stockholm where he could have quite easily been routed by Elias Ymer. Unless there is a quick turnaround in his conditioning and motivation, this smells like another early defeat for the American.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Hubert Hurkacz in 3 Sets.
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