Seventh seed Borna Coric and the unseeded Alexander Bublik will on Tuesday meet in the first round of the Halle Open. Borna Coric won the title here back in 2018 and will attempt to do so again in what is his fifth appearance. This will however not be an easy task as the Croat has played only one match on grass since 2020. This was last week in Hertogenbosch. He lost that match and has now lost 12 of the 28 matches he has played in 2023. Coric has struggled with his form but performed admirably well on clay where nine of his 16 wins came. This allowed him to move up to 14th place in the world ranking.
Alexander Bublik is returning to Westfalen after a six-year hiatus for his second appearance. He didn’t manage to go past the qualifying rounds the last time he was here. The Kazakh will hope now he has gained enough experience to prolong his stay in the competition. Bublik also took part in Hertogenbosch where he won one of his two matches. He has struggled all year and currently has lost more matches than he has won. But as he is a decent performer on grass, he will be confident of getting past Coric here. The current world number 48 has compiled a record of 31 wins and 23 losses on grass in his career so far. The winner of this match will play the winner of the tie between Jan-Lennard Struff and Roman Safiullin in the second round.
Though he is a former champion here, we feel that Coric’s lack of game time on grass since 2020 will hinder him. This was the case in Hertogenbosch and with Bublik a strong performer on grass, we aren’t too convinced with Coric winning. Our prediction for Borna Coric v Alexander Bublik is for Bublik to win in three sets.