TennisSection previews the 2021 Qatar Open as David Goffin (6) of Belgium faces Serbian Filip Krajinovic in the Opening Round on Tuesday March 9th, 2021.
An intriguing First Round match awaits us here between two very accomplished players, both ranked in the top 35 of the ATP rankings. It is rare that such quality is on display so early in a tournament so fans are sure to be in for a treat. Will it be the higher ranked Goffin (4/7) advancing or can Krajinovic (11/8) cause the upset?
David Goffin has had a mixed start to his 2021 season, and will be aiming for more consistent results going forward. After a disappointing start to the year losing in the First Round at the Australian Open he rebounded well, capturing his fifth career title in Montpellier. Things were looking up for him until he was surprisingly dumped out of the Rotterdam Open in the Round of 16 by Jeremy Chardy last week. He has been handed a difficult draw here against the always dangerous Krajinovic. Goffin is a former top 10 player and will be seeking to re-enter the top 10 this year. The Belgian #1 is one of the best baseline players in world tennis, with tremendous court coverage and anticipation. Despite his inconsistent start to the year, he will be very confident at getting the win and going deep in this event in Doha.
Filip Krajinovic is currently ranked #32 in the world and has not played much this season. Like Goffin, he had a poor showing at the Australian Open and will be hoping to get his 2021 season back on track here at the 2021 Qatar Open. He has been running very hot and cold lately, but is capable of some outstanding tennis at times. The Serbian has traditionally done well at these smaller hard court tournaments and his game is perfectly built for this surface. He has the edge over his opponent when it comes to power, and if he serves well he can be a handful. Can he get his career back on track here by causing the minor upset and advancing to the Round of 1 here in Doha?
This will be the fifth meeting between the two players with the head to head series tied at 2-2. Interestingly, they have split the last two matches in 2019 and 2020 which were both on outdoor hard courts. They seem to be very evenly matched on this surface and both have similar playing styles, switching between defense and offense with ease. Goffin has the edge in consistency and movement while Krajinovic has a stronger serve and a bit more power from the baseline. This match is poised to be an extremely close and intense encounter with some spectacular tennis expected from both players.
Due to their similar game styles and head to head record it is extremely likely that this match will be very competitive, and going the distance is a distinct possibility. Goffin has been very hot and cold lately but played some fantastic tennis in Montpellier and will be hoping to recapture that form after a disappointing showing in Rotterdam. Krajinovic’s form is hard to predict as we have not seen him in action since the Australian Open, so some rust is to be expected. All things considered, it is difficult to pick against David Goffin here. Outdoor hard court is his surface of choice and once he serves well he will be ver tough to beat here. Krajinovic has a big game and is capable of beating anyone on his day but his lack of match practice will very likely work against him here. Expect David Goffin to get the close win here at the 2021 Qatar Open and advance to the Round of 16.
Free Tennis Preview and Prediction: David Goffin (4/7) to win