TennisSection previews the 2021 Toronto Open as Hubert Hurkacz (7) meets Nikolosz Basilashvili in the Round of 16 on Thursday August 12th, 2021.
Hubert Hurkacz is having a breakout season on the ATP Tour, and has been outstanding for the most part. The Polish star claimed his first Masters-1000 title earlier in the year and will be eyeing a shot at his second after the withdrawal of some of the world’s top players. His next opponent is the former top 20 Georgian Nikolosz Basilashvili who is also enjoying a fine season after a prolonged slump. Who will get the win and advance to the Quarter-Finals here at the 2021 Toronto Open?
Hubert Hurkacz is currently ranked a career-high #13 in the ATP world rankings, and is the seventh seed here at the 2021 Toronto Open. He has been enjoying a fine season in 2021, boasting a 19-8 record and winning his first Masters-1000 title in Miami. He followed that up with a Semi-Final run at Wimbledon and will be hoping for yet another strong performance here at the Rogers Cup. His big serve and powerful baseline game style are perfectly suited for these hard courts, and with the withdrawal of several big names is considered a dark horse contender for the title here. However, he is a bit rusty, having had a bye in the First Round and then winning the Second Round when Kei Nishikori was forced to withdraw. If he is able to acclimatize to the conditions quickly he is the heavy favorite to win here against Nikolosz Basilashvili but it won’t be easy.
Nikolosz Basilashvili is unseeded here at the 2021 Toronto Open and is currently ranked at #42 in the world. The Georgian has been having a strange season, winning two titles but otherwise has been shockingly poor. He will be hoping to find some consistency with his results, but has been handed a difficult opponent here in the Round of 16 in Hubert Hurkacz. One advantage that the Georgian has here is that he is in good form at the moment, while his opponent is yet to play a match here. He has been outstanding here so far, defeating the in-form Jenson Brooksby from a set down and upsetting Alex De Minaur. When he is confident he is a very tough player to beat, so he will have his eyes firmly fixed on yet another upset victory.
Somewhat surprisingly this will be the first meeting between the two players on the ATP Tour, and despite the difference in ranking, I am expecting it to go the distance. Hubert Hurkacz is obviously the favorite on paper, but the fact that he is yet to play a match on these courts and his opponent has played two counts against him. Nikolosz Basilashvili is a very streaky player, but can hang with the world’s best on a good day and will be dangerous here. I am expecting a slow start from the Pole, but I eventually think he will be able to turn it around and get the hard-fought win here. He is the better player and has more weapons which should allow him to dictate this match, but he will have to keep his errors to the minimum. Hubert Hurkacz will win a tight match here, advancing to the Quarter-Finals here at the 2021 Toronto Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Hubert Hurkacz to win
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