TennisSection previews the 2021 Washington Open as Grigor Dimitrov (4) meets Ilya Ivashka in the Second Round on Wednesday August 4th, 2021.
Fourth seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov returns to the ATP Tour after a five week break here at the 2021 Washington Open. After struggling with injuries to start the season he is hopefully fully fit now and will be one of the main contenders for the title here. First up in his path is the unseeded Ilya Ivashka of Belarus, who has been having an outstanding season. Can Ivashka cause the upset and advance to the Round of 16?
Grigor Dimitrov is currently ranked #21 on the ATP Tour and is the fourth seed here at the 2021 Washington Open. The former top five player is a highly experienced veteran and is still capable of some very good tennis. He has had an inconsistent season so far and will be hoping for a strong result here to get his year back on track. When fully fit he is a very dangerous player from the baseline with a strong serve, and can go toe to toe with the world’s best. However, he has been struggling with injuries over the past few seasons, and is coming off a break since he has not competed since losing in the Second Round at Wimbledon. He enters this match against Ilya Ivashka as the big favorite, but it is hard to trust him with all the question marks surrounding him.
Ilya Ivashka is unseeded here at the 2021 Washington Open, and is currently ranked a career-high #65 on the ATP Tour. The 27 year old Belarusian has been having a great season by his standards. While he has failed to win a title so far, he has been consistently getting past the first few rounds at ATP level events, and had two memorable battles against Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer earlier this year. Ivashka had an impressive win over compatriot Egor Gerasimov in the First round and will be He clearly is full of confidence and leaves his best tennis when he is faced against the top players, so Grigor Dimitrov will not have it easy here. While Ivashka is the big underdog here, he knows that his opponent has been vulnerable this year, so an upset cannot be completely ruled out.
This will be the second meeting between the two players on the ATP Tour, with Grigor Dimitrov leading the head to head series 1-0. They played earlier this year in Geneva, with the Bulgarian winning in two tight sets, 6-4, 6-4. This is an interesting Second Round clash and despite being one sided on paper, the players form suggest that it may be closer than expected. Dimitrov has been struggling this year and may still not be fully fit, while Ivashka has been very consistent and his results have shown that he does not back down against the big players. I still think that the Bulgarian should be able to advance here as he has extensive experience to call upon, and if fully fit will have too much firepower for Ilya Ivashka. I expect a very close match, with Dimitrov getting the win and advancing to the Round of 16.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Grigor Dimitrov to win
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