TennisSection previews the 2021 Winston-Salem Open as Frances Tiafoe  takes on Mikael Ymer in the Quarter-Finals on Thursday, August 26th, 2021.
Will Frances Tiafoe move on? Will Mikael pull off the upset? This match will be an interesting one, where we have one of the greatest entertainers on tour taking on a surprise quarterfinalist. Who will move on to the Semi-Finals at the 2021 Winston-Salem Open?
Frances Tiafoe played a solid match, despite the close scoreline, he was able to hit nice and flat consistently, hitting many winners and putting on yet another exhibition of serving. He has a fantastic opportunity to make it to the semifinals, coming up against Mikael Ymer. While he is a great player too and is in this stage for a reason, Tiafoe is ranked higher, playing better, and should be loaded with confidence coming into this thing. Not only is he serving super well, but he’s also returning very well, hitting some absolute rippers. He’s playing fantastic defense and is able to convert so many different situations into offensive/aggressive type points for him to come out on top of. As long as he serves consistently and puts in a lot of returns, I am quite confident that he will get a nice win to carry him through to the semifinals of the 2021 Winston-Salem Open.
Mikael Ymer is definitely a surprise quarterfinalist, although he didn’t have to beat too many great players like Frances Tiafoe to book his place in the last eight. He has been playing solid tennis, hitting hard and heavy from the baseline, allowing him to take over many of the points. He is also serving rather well, hitting his spots nicely, maybe better than he ever has. It will be very hard for him to deal with Tiafoe though, as he is returning quite well so I suspect there will be many service games where Ymer loses control and falls to Tiafoe. He will also have to be very alert on his return seeing as Tiafoe is serving very well himself at the moment. He can do it, but he will need to serve well, return well, and play very consistently to take out someone like Tiafoe, that’s very hard given the current conditions and the form of Tiafoe.
Frances Tiafoe and Mikael Ymer have met twice before, with the head to head being tied at 2-2. Their first meeting was at the next-gen atp finals, while their second was last year in New Zealand. Tiafoe is definitely playing better than he was then, now playing quite a bit more aggressive and serving/returning better for sure. He did lose their last meeting, however it was a tight match and he has improved rather significantly since then. I expect him to put on a clinic of serving, and I also foresee that he will get a lot of second serves to pounce on and set up some good aggressive, hard-hitting points to take control of and secure plenty of break point opportunities and most probably convert on a good few of them. Let’s see if Tiafoe will live up to the expectations and win this match and potentially go all the way here at the 2021 Winston-Salem Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Frances Tiafoe to Win.
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