Starting at 13:00, we have the first semifinal in Sofia between Marius Copil – Jozef Kovalik.
Marius Copil has fallen slightly in the rankings, but even so he keeps well on the 93rd position. In 2017, he reached a quarter-finals in Metz (FRA), but also in two challenger finals at Kaohsiung (TAIWAN) and Bratislava (SVK).
It is a player who hits the ball with his right hand and backhand with both hands. The favorite area is hard indoor and the service is considered the “main shot”. The current season has not begun, being eliminated in the inaugural round in Pune (IND) by Djere (SRB), 7-5, 4-6, 5-7. At Australian Open he left the competition in the first round, 5-7, 4-6, 3-6 with Simon (FRA). He played in the Davis Cup before coming to Sofia, and this was good for him. He did not give a break in the match won with Haase (NED), score 7-6, 6-4, while in dispute with Kavcic (SLO), 6-2, 6-2, saved all 4 opportunities of your opponent. Marius did not give up his service either against Muller (LUX), score 6-4, 6-4, Gilles having only one chance to break.
Kovalik is the 187 ATP and is a habit of challenger tournaments. Usually it benefits the slow surfaces, because he can hit the forehand very well. I still feel like a solid guy who can have trouble if he’s walking.
Eliminated in both tournaments Brisbane and Australian Open qualifiers, Jozef lost in the first round to the Quimper (FRA) challenger. That’s why his passage from Sofia is an unfinished one – he passed the qualifiers of Napolitano (ITA) and Otte (GER), and then took Albot (MDA), score 6-3, 6-3, on Lacko (SVK) scores 4-6, 6-2, 7-5, and Baghdatis (CYP), score 7-6, 6-4.
As Marius has served so far, I think only Kovalik should not bother him. However, the Slovak beat the Child, even last year, to a challenger played at Sophia Antipolis (FRA), 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. It was a tour of the clay, a surface that Marius does not love so much. If he plays the same way he did with Muller, Copil has no way to lose. The numbers at service were far too good. My preditions for Marius Copil – Jozef Kovalik is below.
Predictions: Marius Copil to win, odds 1.50
Stake: 8 units