TennisSection previews the 2021 Qatar Open as Borna Coric (8) meets Malek Jaziri in the First Round on Tuesday March 9th, 2021.
Will Borna Coric (1/20) continue his strong form with yet another victory here at the Qatar Open? Or can the Wild Card entrant Malek Jaziri (10/1) cause the stunning upset? This match appears to be a mismatch on paper but stranger things have happened on a tennis court. Both men are highly experienced and you can bet that they will both be ready to give it their all.
Borna Coric is one of the most in-form players on the ATP Tour at the moment. Currently ranked #26 in the world, he enters the 2021 Qatar Open with some serious momentum on his side after a Semi-Final showing at the ATP-500 event in Rotterdam. After two very impressive straight sets wins over strong opposition in Dusan Lajovic and Kei Nishikori he ran into Marton Fucsovics who is playing the best tennis of his life and was defeated in the Semis. Coric will have gained some serious confidence from that performance after a relatively slow start to the year and is seemingly back to his best. He is one of the premier defensive players in world tennis with a counter-punching game style. His movement is elite and he gives very little away, so in this current form the only real way to defeat him is to hit through him and dominate with power, something that Malek Jaziri is not capable of at this stage of his career.
Malek Jaziri entered the 2021 Qatar Open after being awarded a Wild Card and will be hopeful of making the most of this opportunity. Currently ranked #261, he spends most of his time on the Challenger Tour as his career winds down. Once ranked as high as #42 he is clearly past his best but is highly experienced and not to be taken lightly. The Tunisian has not won an ATP level match in over a year and has also been having poor results at Challenger lately, something that does not bode well for his chances here against the in-form Borna Coric. He is a very aggressive baseline player that goes for the maximum on every shot, however this will likely be his downfall against the impenetrable defense of Coric and should lead to numerous unforced errors.
Coric and Jaziri have played once before on the ATP Tour with Coric winning on that occasion to lead the head to head series 1-0. Like the courts here at the 2021 Qatar Open, that match was played on outdoor hard courts in Dubai with the Croatian winning in three sets. Back then Coric was young and inexperienced while Malek Jaziri was near his peak and in the top 100. Since then their careers have gone in vastly different directions with Coric being a fixture inside the top 30 and Jaziri languishing on the Challenger Tour as his ranking continues to slide further and further. If this match was played a couple years ago then it may be a different story but there is nothing here to suggest anything other than a comfortable win for the Croatian #1. He enters Doha in phenomenal form and simply put, the Tunisian does not have the tools to cause him any issues. Fatigue could potentially be a factor but Coric is known to be one of the fittest players on tour and really did not have any long matches in Rotterdam. Expect Borna Coric to get off to a fast start and to wrap this match up relatively quickly.
Free Tennis Preview and Prediction: Borna Coric (1/20) to win in straight sets