TennisSection previews the 2021 Lyon Open as Jannik Sinner (6) meets Aslan Karatsev in the First Round on Wednesday May 19th, 2021.
What a match we have on our hands as sixth seeded Jannik Sinner of Italy will face unseeded Russian Aslan Karatsev in the First Round here at the 2021 Lyon Open. This is as big as they come, and it is shocking to see these two huge names playing each other so early on at a tournament, as this really has the feel of a Final. Will the teenage phenom Sinner get the win here? Or will the Russian continue his breakout season by advancing here?
Jannik Sinner is currently ranked a career-high #17 in the ATP world rankings, and is the sixth seed here at the 2021 Lyon Open. At only 19 years of age, he is already considered a tennis superstar with two ATP Finals to his name. The young Italian has been having a strong season so far in 2021, winning a title in Melbourne and reaching his first Masters-1000 Final in Miami. He has a very powerful all-around game, and moves very well on this surface. Despite all his talent and physical tools, it is his mental strength that stands out the most to me, and the youngster is a very mature player, seemingly focused at all times despite the situation. Though he is up against a very tough opponent here in Aslan Karatsev, Sinner should be considered the slight favorite as his game is a bit better suited to the conditions here in Lyon.
Aslan Karatsev has shocked the tennis world thus far in 2021, seemingly coming out of nowhere and establishing himself as one of the best players in the world. Currently ranked at a career best #25 in the world rankings, the Russian reached the Semi-Finals at the Australian Open as a qualifier, and then won his first ATP title in Dubai. He has proven that it wasn’t just a flash in the pan by reaching the Final in Belgrade on clay, proving that he can compete with the best players in the world on any surface. This is a tough First Round encounter for him against Jannik Sinner, but he will be very confident given the year that he has had so far. While he should be considered the slight underdog here at the 2021 Lyon Open, he is well equipped to get the win here and should not be underestimated.
This will be the second meeting between the two players, with Karatsev leading the head to head series 1-0. They played each other in the Quarter-Finals of the Dubai Open this year, with the Russian claiming the hard fought three set win. This really is a tough match to call and it is a shame that these top players have to meet so early in the tournament, but that is the luck of the draw. All things considered, I am going to back the young Italian to win here. It almost certainly will go the distance and can go either way, but Jannik Sinner has greatly impressed me with his maturity and approach to the game. His style is a bit better suited to the clay than his opponent Aslan Karatsev, and I expect him to come away with a very close win here, advancing to the Round of 16 at the 2021 Lyon Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Jannik Sinner to win in three sets.