TennisSection previews the 2021 Halle Open as Daniil Medvedev (1) meets Jan-Lennard Struff in the First Round on Tuesday June 15th, 2021.
Grass court season begins this week, and top seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia will face German Jan-Lennard Struff in the First Round of the 2021 Halle Open. This is a particularly difficult opening round encounter for the world number two Medvedev, especially after coming off the clay court season. Can he make the transition to the grass in time to advance here? Or will Struff cause the upset, advancing to the Second Round here in Halle?
Daniil Medvedev is currently ranked #2 in the world, and is the top seed here at the 2021 Halle Open. The Russian star has been having a mixed season, having a successful hard court season then struggling mightily on clay. However, he found inspiration at the French Open and had an astounding run to the Quarter-Finals, a feat that no one would have predicted given his struggles on the surface. Medvedev would have gained quite a bit of confidence from that run, and does have the game to be successful on grass with a big serve and hard flat groundstrokes which will be very effective on the surface. However, like all players some transition time will be needed to make the switch from the slower clay so it remains to be seen how he will fare here in Halle.
Jan-Lennard Struff is ranked #42 on the ATP Tour and is unseeded here at the 2021 Halle Open. The German has been in decent form so far in 2021, highlighted to a run to the Final in Bavaria where he lost to Nikolosz Basilashvili. Like his opponent Daniil Medvedev, he does not count grass as his favorite surface but has the game to do well on it. Struff has a big serve and is comfortable at the net, so if he is playing well he can be very difficult on this surface. While he enters this match as the underdog, he is an experienced opponent with more grass court experience than Medvedev so that could prove crucial to his chances here in Halle.
This is the fourth meeting between the two players on the ATP Tour, with Daniil Medvedev leading the head to head series 3-0. They last played in 2019 and the Russian is a much more accomplished player than he was back then, making him an obvious favorite on paper. With that being said, this is a very difficult match to predict due to it being the first for each player this year on grass, so we really have no idea how it will go. All things considered, I am going to pick Daniil Medvedev to win this match here. He is quite simply the much better player at the moment, and Jan-Lennard Struff is not quite in the same league. I expect it to be a messy match with lots of errors, but the Russian will win here and advance to the Second Round of the 2021 Halle Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Daniil Medvedev to win.