TennisSection previews the 2021 Sardegna Open as Nikoloz Basilashvili (4) meets Jozef Kovalik (Q) in the Second Round on Wednesday, April 7th 2021.
Will Jozef Kovalik be able to build on that very solid comeback victory over Sumit Nagal in the first round as he meets the No.4 seed? Will Nikoloz Basilashvili get his first victory since winning his 2021 Qatar Open title a few weeks ago? Both players will be very determined to give it their all in this Second Round match at the 2021 Sardegna Open, but only one will make their way to the Quarter-finals. Who will it be?
Nikoloz Basilashvili will be looking to get his first victory after his 2021 Qatar Open title win. Basilashvili has lost his last 2 opening matches in tournaments and he has not been able to keep the momentum going after that amazing week in Qatar where he beat the likes of Roger Federer and Roberto Bautista Agut. Basilashvili has a lot of experience, and quite a few titles under his belt on the ATP Tour, but recently, outside of Qatar, he has been nowhere near the level he needs to be to get anywhere on the ATP Tour. Basilashvili is currently getting better, but he will still have to find the consistency required if he does not want to go down in the rankings and become more of a Challenger Tour player. How will Basilashvili fare against a Challenger Tour player in Jozef Kovalik?
Jozef Kovalik put on a strong comeback performance in the First Round, beating his fellow qualifier Sumit Nagal in 3 sets, 3-6/6-1/6-3. Kovalik did struggle towards the end of the third set, facing multiple break-back points from Nagal, but he was eventually able to get the job done. Kovalik is a very experienced player in terms of matches played throughout his career, but most of these have come at low levels on the Challenger Tour. Jozef Kovalik will have to raise his level drastically here in the Second Round of the 2021 Sardegna Open if he is to get anything going against Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Nikoloz Basilashvili and Jozef Kovalik have met once before, with Nikoloz Basilashvili leading the head to head 1-0. They met at the 2016 Heinbronn Open where Basilashvili won in the semi-finals against Kovalik in 3 sets 1-6/6-4/6-3. Since then, their careers have gone on opposite ends. Kovalik plays mainly on the Challenger Tour and struggles to get anything going there, whilst Basilashvili is still winning titles in 2021. This will definitely be a tight match in the Second Round of the 2021 Sardegna Open, but it will be one which is won by Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Nikoloz Basilashvili to Win.