TennisSection previews the 2021 Serbia Open as Matteo Berrettini (2) meets Marco Cecchinato in the Round of 16 on Wednesday, April 21st 2021.
An all-Italian affair awaits us in the Round of 16 at the 2021 Serbia Open. Second seeded Matteo Berrettini of Italy will face countryman Marco Cecchinato in what is likely to be a thrilling encounter here in Belgrade. Both players have been in poor form so far in 2021 and will be hoping to kick start their respective seasons with a deep run. Will it be the second seeded Berrettini getting the win here? Or can the veteran Cecchinato causing the upset and advancing to the Round of 16?
Matteo Berrettini is currently ranked #10 in the ATP world rankings and is considered one of the top young players on the ATP Tour. More known for his hard court prowess, he has had decent results on clay throughout his career and will be considered the favorite to advance here at the 2021 Serbia Open. The winner of two career clay court ATP titles, it remains to be seen how his fitness is after only playing one event since getting injured at the Australian Open. His attacking baseline game is very effective even on this surface, and his forehand is one of the biggest weapons in world tennis. If he has fully recovered from his abdominal injury he will be the favorite here against Marco Cecchinato but it will certainly not be smooth sailing against the clay-loving veteran.
Marco Cecchinato is currently ranked #94 in the world, a far cry from his former top-20 days. While he has seen his ranking tumble spectacularly over the last few years, he is still a dangerous opponent on clay courts, and has a lot of clay court matches under his belt in 2021. His opponent Matteo Berrettini is much higher ranked, but this will only be his second clay court match of the year and he has been in terrible form all season. He was impressive in his opening round win over Cecchinato is the betting underdog here at the 2021 Serbia Open but will be very confident here knowing that he has a huge chance here against a struggling opponent. If he can keep his unforced error count down to a minimum, this match will be a lot more even than it looks on paper.
This will be the first time that the two players have faced each other on the ATP Tour, and their head to head record stands at 0-0. They played once in 2017 on the Challenger Tour with Cecchinato winning in three sets on clay. Since then their careers have gone on drastically different paths with Matteo Berrettini being an established top 20 player. Despite his high ranking however, Berrettini has been in terrible form so far this year and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. While Marco Cecchinato has also not been a model of consistency, he is still dangerous on clay and I do expect this to be a very long and tight match. It really can go either way, but I am going to back Matteo Berrettini to win a very close match. It certainly won’t be pretty and there will be a lot of unforced errors, but he has a bit more firepower than his opponent and I see him grinding out the win here at the 2021 Serbia Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Matteo Berrettini to win.