TennisSection previews the 2021 Qatar Open as Stan Wawrinka (7) meets Lloyd Harris (Q) in the first round on Tuesday, March 9 2021.
Can Stan Wawrinka get some momentum going in 2021 which has already been a tough season for him, or will the qualifier Lloyd Harris be able to cause what would be a very shocking upset in this first round match at the 2021 Qatar Open? We are definitely in for a very exciting match in this first round, but only one player can come out on top here and book their spot in the second round. Who will it be?
Stan Wawrinka (7) has struggled in early 2021, losing in an incredibly tight 5-set match to Marton Fucsovics in the first round of the 2021 Australian Open. Adding to that, Wawrinka lost to Karen Khachanov just last week in the first round of the 2021 Rotterdam Open. Wawrinka is aging, with the 3-time Grand Slam Champion now being 35-years old, and his game has gone a bit downhill against the best players in the world. However, we should never count Wawrinka out, as I personally believe he still has the best one-handed backhand on the tour. Wawrinka will be somewhat glad that he is meeting a qualifier in Lloyd Harris in the first round as this will give him a strong chance to make the second round here. However, Wawrinka knows he will meet a tough opponent in the second-round in Dusan Lajovic or Marton Fucsovics here at the Qatar Open.
Lloyd Harris played some great matches in qualifying here at the Qatar Open, beating Lukas Lacko on Sunday in straight sets 6-4/6-3, to book his spot against Stan Wawrinka. Harris is a very solid player for his age, but he has not been able to reach the same heights as some of his colleagues in Stefanos Tsitsipas or Andrey Rublev. Harris is a very big server, but his return game still needs some improvements if he is to become a tough competitor in every tournament he plays in. However, Harris will have gotten used to the courts here in Qatar, and I am sure he will be confident in his ability to potentially cause an upset here against Stan The Man. Can Lloyd cause the upset here and book his spot in the second round of the Qatar Open?
This is going to be the first meeting between Stan Wawrinka and Lloyd Harris, and this seems to be a straightforward match for the bookies. Stan Wawrinka is of course the best player in this match by miles, however, Lloyd Harris has played some qualifying matches in Qatar, giving him the feel for the court. These matches against qualifiers are always tough for the favourites as they will need to start off strong to not give the qualifier any hope. Stan Wawrinka, however, is a very experienced player on the ATP Tour, and I am sure he will not let his guard down at any moment against Lloyd Harris, booking his spot in the second round of the 2021 Qatar Open. This match should be done and dusted by Stan the Man in straight sets.
Stan The Man to win this match in straight sets and book his spot in the second-round where he can definitely get some momentum going and perhaps make his way to the Quarter-Finals.
Free Tennis Preview and Prediction: Stan Wawrinka to win in Straight Sets.