TennisSection previews the 2021 Austria Open as Casper Ruud (1) meets Mario Vilella Martinez in the Round of 16 on Wednesday July 28th, 2021.
Top seeded Casper Ruud of Norway is one of the hottest and most in-form players on the ATP Tour at the moment, and has played some fantastic clay-court tennis this season. He is coming off back to back titles in Gstaad and Bastad, and is seeking to win his third consecutive title here at the 2021 Austria Open. First up for him is the Spaniard Mario Vilella Martinez, the 26 year old Qualifier. Can he cause the stunning upset and move on here in Kitzbuhel?
Casper Ruud is the top seed here at the 2021 Austria Open, and is currently ranked #14 on the ATP Tour, a new career high. There is no-one on the Tour in better form than the young Norwegian, as he has won two consecutive titles heading into this week. He is seeking to become the first player this season to win three titles in a row, and is heavily favored to achieve that feat. His ultra-aggressive groundstrokes and elite movement are huge weapons on this surface, and the inexperienced Spaniard Mario Vilella Martinez is not expected to put up much resistance here against the in-form Ruud.
Mario Vilella Martinez is currently ranked #167 on the ATP Tour, and entered the 2021 Austria Open by coming through the Qualifying Rounds. The Spaniard does not have much experience at this level, mainly plying his trade on the Challenger Tour. Vilella Martinez entered this event in strong form, winning a Challenger title in Italy and then reaching the Quarters at an event in Finland. He carried that momentum through the Qualifying Rounds here in Kitzbuhel, winning both of his matches in straight sets and then defeating Austrian Lukas Neumayer in three sets in the First Round. He will be filled with confidence heading into this match but is the massive underdog against one of the best clay-court players in the world in Casper Ruud.
This will be the first meeting between the two players on the ATP Tour, and it will be a quick one. Simply put, Casper Ruud is far and away a better player than Mario Vilella Martinez, and should win this match extremely comfortably. The Norwegian has possibly been the most outstanding clay-court player in the world this year, and is seeking his third consecutive title. I expect him to win this match in dominant fashion, advancing to the Quarter-Finals here at the 2021 Austria Open in Kitzbuhel.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Casper Ruud to win in straight sets
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