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Keio Challenger Yokohama second-round tennis preview and predictions: Who will make the quarterfinals in Yokohama?

  • All- Australian clash between Blake Mott and Marc Polmans
  • Ruben Bemelmans faces wildcard conqueror of Yasutaka Uchiyama
  • Tatsuma Ito and Go Soeda face each other for the eleventh time 
Go Soeda  (TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)

With the top and bottom quarter-finals set in Yokohama, it leaves the second and third quarter-finals match-ups to be decided in Thursday's second round matches. 

Second quarterMarc Polmans vs (Q) Blake Mott. This is a tough one to call as both players are in poor form. Polmans has just two wins this season at any level, a three-set win over Evan King at the Launceston Challenger, and his win over Cedrik-Marcel Stebe in the first round of this event. Mott meanwhile, has suffered back-to-back losses to Brydan Klein and Ruben Bemelmans in his two Challenger appearances since reaching the final in Burnie (l. to Jasika.) Mott also impressively qualified for the Australian Open, defeating three players ranked above him in consecutive rounds in Alexander Kudryavstev, Tobias Kamke, and James McGee. 

Polmans may be the higher ranked man at No.225 in the ATP rankings to Mott's No.305, but Mott, after defeating fifth seed Grega Zemlja in the first round, looks the more likely player to win this all Australian clash. Pick: Blake Mott

Marko Tepavac vs (Q) Brydan Klein. Tepavac ousted Next Gen talent and third seed Duckhee Lee in the first round, and the twenty-two year-old Serbian finished strongly, 6-1 in the third set against the teenager. Yet Tepevac is in very poor form to start this year. His only other win aside from the Lee result came against a man ranked outside the Top 1000 in qualifying for the Garanti Koza Sofia Open. Tepevac's search for form goes back to 2016, as he suffered first round exits at each of his last four events in that year. Yet Lee is a very talented young player, which suggests Tepavac may be back in some vein of form. 

Brydan Klein has had a mixed start to the year. Ranked too low to gain entry to Australian Open Qualifying, the Australian-born Briton instead turned to the Auckland Open. He emerged through qualifying and defeated No.55 Facundo Bagnis in three sets before losing to Joao Sousa. He's earned just one win since, against Blake Mott. Klein once beat Marcos Baghdatis at a grass Challenger, but is more than one hundred places removed from his career-best ranking. 
Pick: Marko Tepavac

Third Quarter: (6) Ruben Bemelmans vs (WC) Kaito Uesugi. Ruben Bemelmans is perhaps best known for playing as Belgium's second player against Andy Murray in the 2015 Davis Cup Final. Bemelmans may have lost that day, but he gave a good account of himself. He won the Koblenz Challenger this year, but has lost in the first round of three of next four tournaments. The one event he secured a victory in, he promptly lost to the No.587 player Yosuke Watanaki. 

Uesugi is a wildcard entry,ranked No.1126, and he stunned Yasutaka Uchiyama in the first round. Uchiyama had just won the Kyoto Challenger last week, so fatigue may have played a factor. However, such a win cannot be dismissed lightly. However, he lost his other match this season to Zhe Zhang comprehensively, so despite Bemelmans poor form he is my favourite to win this match.
Pick: Ruben Bemelmans.

Tatsuma Ito vs (4) Go Soeda. Soeda has dominated this head-to-head leading 7-3 across all ATP, Challenger, and Qualifying matches between the pair. Soeda has picked up just one win since making the main draw of the Australian Open as a qualifier, whilst Ito has won at least one match at every event he's taken part in since Maui. This includes a semi-final run at the Dallas Challenger, and a quarter-final run at the San Francisco Challenger. Ito has retired in both of his last two tournaments, so he may not be fully fit, and if that is the case, it will surely have an impact on this match. If Ito is fully fit then he would be my pick based on form, but two consecutive retirements are not convincing. Pick: Go Soeda.


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Keio Challenger Yokohama second-round tennis preview and predictions: Who will make the quarterfinals in Yokohama?

British qualifier and Japanese wildcard ranked outside Top 1000 look to spring shocks in Yokohama Challenger.

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