TennisSection previews the 2021 Cincinnati Open as Matteo Berrettini (5) meets Felix Auger-Aliassime (12) in the Round of 16 on Thursday August 19th, 2021.
A hugely exciting and competitive match is expected as the fifth seeded Italian Matteo Berrettini faces the twelfth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada for a spot in the Quarters. Both men play a similar, ultra-aggressive baseline game and are known for their spectacular shot making so this is not a match that tennis fans will want to miss. This is shaping up to be a very tight match, who will get the win and advance to the Quarter-Finals here at the 2021 Cincinnati Open?
Matteo Berrettini is the world number eight and is seeded 5th here at the 2021 Cincinnati Open. The Italian has been having a very successful season and has firmly established himself in the top 10 of the rankings with some eye catching results. He reached his first ever Grand Slam Final at Wimbledon but hasn’t played since due to an injury. Some rust was to be expect as he made his return, and he was handed a tough draw against Albert Ramos-Vinolas who he was able to overcome in three tough sets. While it was a little too close for comfort, the match which lasted nearly three house would have given him time to get back into his rhythm, and also proved that the injury is no longer an issue. He served extremely well, hitting 25 aces which likely was the difference in the match. Despite not yet fully being back to his best, Berrettini enters this match against Felix Auger-Aliassime as the favorite to advance.
Felix Auger-Aliassime is the twelfth seed here at the 2021 Cincinnati Open. The young Canadian has long been known as one of the most promising players in world tennis, and it is astonishing to think that he is still only 21 years of age given his huge success on the ATP Tour. After a strong showing at Wimbledon he suffered back to back early round losses in Washington and Toronto and will be hoping for a deep run here in Cincinnati. Like his opponent Matteo Berrettini he was handed a tough draw here, having to overcome Marton Fucsovics and Karen Khachanov to reach this stage. He played very well in the match against Khachanov, coming from a set down to win the match, hitting a whopping 39 winners but struggling with his unforced errors as sometimes happens with the Canadian. While he is the slight underdog here, he has a huge opportunity due to his opponent still working his way back into form and should not be discounted here.
This will be the third meeting between the two players on the ATP Tour, with the Italian leading the head to head 2-0. They last played a few weeks ago in the Wimbledon Quarter-Finals, where he won an epic match in four sets. If Berrettini was fully fit and had been playing I would say that he is the clear favorite here, but it is a lot closer now that has is now working his way back into form. That being said, Felix Auger-Aliassime has not been in great form lately so it is equally difficult to trust him here. I am expecting a long and close match, with a mix of both spectacular and sloppy tennis as both men are known for their shot making but also commit a lot of errors due to their ultra-aggressive game styles. After considering everything, I am going with Matteo Berrettini to get the win here. FAA has the tools to win, but Berrettini has more experience at this stage in the bigger events, and I trust him more under pressure than the young Canadian. He can also rely on his serve to get him out of trouble and that will definitely be a major factor here. It will be extremely close, but I am backing the Italian to win this match in three sets, advancing to the Quarter-Finals here at the 2021 Cincinnati Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Matteo Berrettini to win in three sets
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