Stakhovsky vs Mirza Basic
Basic has played two qualification matches here: 2-1 vs Lazov and 2-0 vs Brkic. He didn't demolish either of them despite being a big favorite. He should have beaten Brkic with bigger numbers but the hard match against Lazov is understandable as Bulgarian players often step up their game in Sofia. We saw it happen in Otte - Lazarov in the quals as well and it won't surprise me if Andreev and Donski do well later today.
Stakhovsky is coming to Sofia after some Davis Cup action during the weekend where he played against the Ymer brothers. He was a big favorite vs Mikael to whom he lost 6-7 2-6 but went on to defeat Elias as a smaller favorite 6-4 6-4. Elias was not on his top game that day and he had defeated Stakhovsky in Rennes just a few days prior to their Davis Cup encounter. In fact, right before Elias was broken in the second he had two chances to break Stakhovsky when his serve was staggering but Elias still threw his opportunities away.
Today I believe Basic will get a solid and convincing win. He has played a lot of tennis on these Sofia courts already in the qualifications, he has played almost 4 hours here and should be more than well adapted to the surface. He is having a very good start to the season with 7/3 and aside from Gonzalez shocking him in Australian Open, his losses to Vatutin and Pella have been more than understandable. I didn't like what I saw from Stakhovsky in Davis Cup and the one good tournament run he has had this year was in Koblenz where the took easy wins against De Loore, Kuhn and Safwat. Hardly impressive. Basic had a very good time in Doha where he caused upsets vs Lopez and Seppi and defeated Vatutin and him taking 4 wins there probably also played into his Australian Open loss to Gonzalez.
Basic is moving closer to his hghest rank of 109. He struggled for some time during 2017 and fell out of top 100 for a brief time but he was climbing the ladder in October and November and picked up where he left off in January. Both he and Stakhovsky are good indoor players but looking at how these two have performed so far this year I'd say its self evident that Basic is having a better 2018 so far.
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Stakhovsky vs Mirza Basic prediction
|Basic||Pinnacle||1.87||8||Canceled PUSH (Stake return)|