These two players have already faced each other once. It was last year in Sofia (also indoor) and Adrian Mannarino won in 3 sets.
This is the first edition of this ATP 250 from Singapore. There hadn’t been tennis here since 1999.
In this edition
Adrian Mannarino took advantage of his ranking to skip the first round. For his entry in the competition, he faced Roberto Marcora (191st) whom he defeated in 2 sets.
In the first round, Radu Albot won against John-Patrick Smith in 3 sets and 1h30 of play. In the next match, the Moldavian defeated Yannick Hanfmann after a nice battle played in 3 sets (including 2 tie-breaks) and 2h45 of play.
Radu Albot finds colors again in this early season. There is still a long way to go to get back to his best level, but he is heading in the right direction. The Moldavian shows in particular that he knows how to become again regular in the rallies. Farewell to the too numerous annoying faults.
This new match will be a real test for Radu Albot. Indeed, Adrian Mannarino is in good shape at the beginning of the season. His tennis is clean: he commits few faults and knows how to be very regular in the rallies. This could well force Radu Albot to put more (to make him fall back into his ways?).
What makes me think Adrian Mannarino is in a better position to win this match is his ability to find great zones, especially with good lengths. Radu Albot tends to have trouble getting close to his line, and I think the Frenchman’s style of play will accentuate this phenomenon, making him less dangerous.
Let’s also highlight the different possibilities of Adrian Mannarino to break the Albot machine. Indeed, he has everything he needs to insist regularly on the weaker backhand of the Moldavian (a crosscourt forehand attack or a long line backhand that he masters well). The Frenchman will also be able to vary the game enormously, whether through different ball speeds or changes of direction. And I can imagine that this will disturb his opponent.
Finally, Radu Albot leaves a lot more room for improvement on its service. And he will have an opponent in front of him who is far from being a quiche on the restart. This is an important element to take into account.
Also, for those interested, please note that Radu Albot has never been very comfortable with left-handed players, let alone on this surface. Since 2018 on hard court, the Moldavian has played 7 matches against left-handed players (including Smith in the 1st round of this tournament), and has lost 5 of them.
I would have been much more confident if Radu Albot didn’t have a little star above his head. He came very close to defeat in his last match. He saved three match balls against Hanfmann in the second set. Weeks like that make you feel like you can’t stop. Doesn’t it do it to you?
Prediction: Adrian Mannarino wins