These two players have already met 5 times between 2009 and 2017. Pablo Carreno Busta has won 3 of these matches, including the only match played on hard court. It was during their last confrontation (Masters 1000 of Indian Wells).
You should know this tournament isn’t being played in Cincinnati. It’s being played in Flushing Meadows. The playing conditions are therefore quite different from previous years.
Pablo Carreno Busta will play this Masters 1000 for the fifth year in a row. He has only been eliminated once in the first round (in his first participation in 2016), and his best performance is a quarter-final in 2018. In 2019, he reached the 1/8 finals. After defeating Gilles Simon and John Isner, Novak Djokovic took the best over him.
This will be the third year in a row that Dusan Lajovic will play this tournament. He’s never made it past the first round yet. Last year, he was eliminated by Johan Isner in 3 sets including a tie-break.
We’re dealing with two players who prefer to play rallies by staying behind their baseline. That makes me think that we could see some really crisp action, all really interminable. Oops.
In analysing this match, I didn’t hesitate much. Indeed, Pablo Carreno Busta seems to me the best possible choice here.
After a very interesting ATP Cup, Dusan Lajovic fell a little bit back into his ways. Not really at the Australian Open, he was also mediocre in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Acapulco. He then took part in two exhibitions (including the Adria Tour) where he lost all his matches. This guy’s problem is not really tennistic. He is mental (well ok, the mental is part of tennis). He’s a player who can’t spread his wings when he’s not confident (that reminds me of Chardy here). During the ATP Cup, he managed to play very well because he had his compatriots to boost him during the breaks. That made all the difference.
So the Serb is not going to arrive in the best conditions at Flushing Meadows.
Pablo Carreno Busta should come out on the court with a little more confidence. But most importantly, his tennis seems to me to be very compatible with his opponent of the day. The Spaniard should be able to hold his line and return many balls. Dusan Lajovic could well try to ensure his shots and this will undoubtedly open doors for the Spaniard. Not to mention that the Spaniard seems to be in a better position to hold long rallies and make the Serb crack the first one.
Finally, we can point out that Pablo Carreno Busta should have the advantage of the surface. He is indeed a little more at ease on hard ground than Dusan Lajovic (a clay court player).
Prediction: Pablo Carreno Busta wins