Pierre-Hugues Herbert vs. Alexei Popyrin
Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at 9:00 AM (Atlantic Station)
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Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Alexei Popyrin meet in the second round of the 2019 tennis Atlanta Open.
Pierre-Hugues Herbert hasnt played since a first round exit in the Wimbledon and enters this tournament losing three of his last four matches overall. In his last match, Herbert won 57 percent of his total service points, was broken four times and had 19 unforced errors to go with 20 winners. Herbert obviously has to clean up his service performance to get out of this funk, but maybe so much time off helps him clear his head and get back on track. Herbert has lost his opening match of a tournament four times since Indian Wells. Herbert has lost his last four matches on hard court.
Alexei Popyrin is coming off a straight sets win over Denis Kudla that took 19 games to decide. In the victory, Popyrin won 68 percent of his first serve points and 66 percent of his second serve points. Popyrin won 67 percent of his total service points and converted on two of his seven break points. Popyrin got 58 percent of his first serves in play and saved his only break point. It was a solid performance in what was considered a toss-up match, and Popyrin has now won seven of his last 10 matches when you include Wimbledon qualifying. Popyrin looks to win back-to-back matches on the main tour for the first time since the Australian Open. Popyrin has split his last six matches on hard court.
These two played once, which was a 2017 challenger match, a meeting Herbert won in straight sets. The match was decided in 23 games.
Popyrin has a real shot to win this match, as Herbert has been in complete struggle mode these last few weeks. However, Herbert has also had a lot of time off to tweak his game and pick up some confidence, and a return to hard court should help his service percentage. These struggles can’t continue forever, and it’s been a while since Popyrin has put any sort of run together on the main tour.
I like Herbert in this contest.