Ivashka vs Kubler
1st round in Nottingham challenger between Ilya Ivashka and Jason Kubler.
These guys are almost at the same age, none of them is a typical grass-court player, but I think one of them has much more chances to win here and it's Iliya Ivashka. The Belarusian Ivashka is N115 in the ranking, while his opponent in from Australia and is N160. In the recent two seasons Ivashka had a few matches on grass without much success with 1 win/2 losses, but his opponent is without grass-court match in the last three years.
Infact Kubler went through a lot of problems and knee surgery, but he is far away from the promising young lad he was 5 years ago. He was even compared to Rafa Nadal, because their styles were almost the same just playing with different hands, cause the Aussie is right-handed. He laso love to play in clay courts which is untypical for Australian players. In the last two years he is mixing clay and hard court tournaments, but the results are not coming. He is in big row of losses, to be clearer- they are four, and all of them in challengers. He's a typical chanllenger player in comparison with his opponent who has much higher ambitions.
Ilya Ivashka is steadily climbing in the ranking and I expect him to be part of top 100 till the end of the season if everything is ok with his health. He's trying to play more and more matches at ATP level with some of the best players in the tour. His last tournaments were in Madrid, Istanbul, Barcelona, Monte Carlo, even in Roland Garros. He beat some of the players on his level or a little bit weaker than him, but against better players than him like Simon, Copil, Fognini it was obvious why he's not still in top 100. He's tall, over 190cm, and that was not a big advantage in these clay-court tournaments, but on hard and grass courts it is! He's serving and moving on the court really well and that's the main advantage which he will have against Kubler. I expect his service games to be much faster and to use his chances on return. His last match against Dominic Thiem in Roland Garros should be a huge motivation for him! Yeah, Thiem was the RG finalist, the Austrian beta Ivashka 3:0, but in the second set I saw something which in untypical for players out of top 100 against one of the best, especially when it's in in GS tournament. Ivashka was a set down and 0:4 in the 2nd, but succeeded to pick up his level out of nowhere and to level it 4:4 and showing he can even win the set and to look for something more against Thiem. There he made a bunch of easy mistakes, lost the set and the match. Maybe we saw the best of him for about 20 minutes, but he has it for sure.
I think the 4th seeded in Nottingham will win in the 1st round- better ranking, taller and with stronger serve, much higher ambitions he has than his opponent and that's obivous in the recent months, he's better on faster court tournaments and proved it with his SF in Marseille this year. I think all of these things will help him to win at least in the 1st round, although none of them is a typical grass-court player with promising results in the recent years on that surface.
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Ivashka vs Kubler prediction
|Ivashka||Bet365||1.57||9||2-1 WON (+5.13 units)|