TennisSection previews the 2021 Winston-Salem Open as Jan-Lennard Struff (9) meets Ilya Ivashka in the Round of 16 on Wednesday August 25th, 2021.
Ninth seeded German Jan-Lennard Struff will face Ilya Ivashka of Belarus for a spot in the Quarter-Finals here at the 2021 Winston-Salem Open in North Carolina. The Belarusian stunned sixth seed Marin Cilic in the previous round, after seeming to be down and out after being a set and a break down. He produced some fantastic tennis to come back from the brink of defeat there, can he do the same and upset the German ninth seed? Or will Struff get the win as expected and advance to the Round of 16 for the first time in two months?
Jan-Lennard Struff is the ninth seed here at the 2021 Winston-Salem Open and is currently ranked #52 on the ATP Tour. The German is known as a very talented yet streaky player, and his recent form has illustrated this. Since reaching the Round of 16 in Halle, he has lost in the First Round of five consecutive tournaments, and will have been delighted to have broken that streak here in North Carolina. He showed no signs of low confidence in his 6-2, 6-2 demolition of Gianluca Mager, in a match where he wasn’t broken and dominated from start to finish. This has been the story of his career, some breathtaking tennis followed by some disappointing results but the hope is that he can find some form ahead of the US Open. He should be considered the favorite here against Ilya Ivashka, but with his history and the Belarusian’s solid game, Struff is quite difficult to trust.
Ilya Ivashka is unseeded here at the 2021 Winston-Salem Open, and is ranked a career-high #63. The Belarusian has been having an outstanding year, and has quietly been creeping up the rankings. After a solid grass-court season where he reached the Quarters in Eastbourne and the Round of 16 at Wimbledon, he has started strongly here, defeating Andreas Seppi in the First Round and upsetting Marin Cilic in the Second. He was down a set and 4-2 against Cilic before completely turning the match around with some inspired play, wearing his opponent down with some very consistent yet aggressive baseline tennis. In this sort of form he is sure to cause Jan-Lennard Struff some issues and the stage is set for a very close and interesting match here.
This will be the second meeting between the two players on the ATP Tour, with Jan-Lennard Struff leading the head to head series 2-0. The big German won their last meeting earlier this year in Munich, with a comprehensive 6-4, 6-1 victory. However, that was on clay, and they have been in drastically different form since then, so I am expecting a much closer contest. This match possibly can go down to the wire, with both men playing very well so far here this week. All things considered, I am going with Struff to get the win here. While he has been poor lately, he is more experienced than his opponent Ilya Ivashka, and has more firepower too. If he can keep his errors under control, which is a big ask, I think that he has enough quality to squeak through here, advancing to the Quarter-Finals of the 2021 Winston-Salem Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Jan-Lennard Struff to win in three sets
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