TennisSection previews the 2021 Serbia Open as Aslan Karatsev (3) meets Aljaz Bedene in the Round of 16 on Thursday April 22nd, 2021.
An interesting Round of 16 match awaits us at the 2021 Serbia Open as third seeded Aslan Karatsev of Russia faces Slovenian Aljaz Bedene. Karatsev has been the surprise package of the 2021 ATP season, rocketing up the rankings with a string of impressive results. Will he continue in that vein with a win here? His opponent has played some great tennis so far here in Belgrade, can he cause the upset here and advance to the Quarter-Finals?
Aslan Karatsev has seemingly come out of nowhere this year, and has improved his ranking to a career-high #28. He has also claimed his first ATP title this year, and has established himself as one of the most in-form players this season. While most of his success has come on the hard courts, he is still a relatively accomplished clay court player, winning multiple Challenger Tour titles on the surface. He played well last week in Monte-Carlo, defeating Lorenzo Musetti in the opening round before losing a tough two-setter to eventual champion Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Russian enters this match as the huge favorite, but cannot discount his opponent Aljaz Bedene who has been in strong form recently. Karatsev has much more firepower than Bedene and can overpower him from the baseline, but the Slovenian is a very good mover and is acclimatized to the conditions here in Belgrade.
Aljaz Bedene is currently ranked #56 in the ATP world rankings, and has been in good form lately. After a strong showing at the Sardegna Open where he reached the Quarter-Finals, he defeated rising star Sebastian Korda in a tight three setter here in the First Round. The Slovenian has always been a very solid player, comfortable on all surfaces. He has been serving very well, and impressively held his nerve in the thrilling third set tiebreaker win over Korda. His big groundstrokes can cause some problems to his opponent Aslan Karatsev, and while he is the underdog here, he will be confident of causing the upset here at the 2021 Serbia Open. He is highly experienced and is not likely to give many free points away.
This is the first time that the two players will face each other on the ATP Tour, and their head to head is tied at 0-0. While Aljaz Bedene is a solid player and has been in good form, I see Aslan Karatsev winning here. The Russian is simply on another level to his Slovenian opponent and should cruise to victory in straight sets. It may take him some time to acclimatize to the conditions here at the 2021 Serbia Open, but expect him to do so and get the win here. Aslan Karatsev will win this in straight sets and advance to the Quarter-Finals here in Belgrade.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Aslan Karatsev to win