TennisSection previews the 2023 Auckland Open as Alexander Bublik takes on David Goffin in the first round on Monday, January 9, 2023.
Both Alexander Bublik and David Goffin took part in the inaugural United Cup, but their respective countries did not leave an impression as Kazakhstan and Belgium exited in the group stage. They will put that disappointment aside when they clash in the mouthwatering opening match at the Auckland Open. Who will prevail?
Alexander Bublik faced a massive challenge at the United Cup as his Kazakhstan team were paired alongside Switzerland and Poland. It was highly unlikely they would even score a point, let alone qualify from the group. Bublik lost his two singles matches against Stan Wawrinka and Hubert Hurkacz. But the 25-year-old is still looking for more game time and is signed up for the Auckland Open where he is the fifth seed. Will he register his a win over David Goffin on his tournament debut?
David Goffin arrived at the United Cup without any notable matches during the off-season, so it was likely he would face some rust-related issues. The Belgian lost his two matches in the group against Grigor Dimitrov and Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets. Goffin won’t have the luxury of testing his game at the Auckland Open as the competition comes thick and fast with the Australian Open just around the corner.
David Goffin leads Alexander Bublik 1-0 in their head-to-head, beating the Kazakh in the Round of 16 of Montpellier almost three seasons ago. Goffin is the reliable baseliner in this match, but he looks slightly undercooked and probably could do with another week of match practice ahead of the Australian Open. Bublik played at a surprisingly high level at the United Cup, and if the Kazakh can keep his unforced error count at an all-time low, he should be able to outmuscle Goffin at the Auckland Open.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Alexander Bublik in 3 sets.
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