TennisSection previews the 2021 Sofia Open as Ilya Ivashka meets Pablo Andujar in the First Round on Wednesday September 29th, 2021.
An intriguing match is expected here in the First Round of the 2021 Sofia Open as Ilya Ivashka and Pablo Andujar do battle. They enter this tournament with contrasting form, the Belarusian has been playing some good tennis of late while Andujar has struggled for most of the year. However, the experienced Spaniard is no pushover, and will be a very dangerous opponent here. Can he summon all of his experience to cause the upset here? Or will Ivashka continue his fine year and advance to the Round of 16?
Ilya Ivashka is unseeded here at the 2021 Sofia Open and is currently ranked #45 on the ATP Tour. The Belarusian has been on the tour for quite some time, but this is by far his most successful season to date. He won his first ATP title a few weeks ago at the Winston-Salem Open where he dominated the field, winning the entire event for the loss of just one set. Ivashka has continued that fine form by reaching the Third Round at the US Open, losing a five set thriller to Matteo Berrettini and the Semi-Finals at the Astana Open last week. He is an exceptional mover on the court and has a very aggressive baseline game, which is much better suited for this indoor hard court surface than that of his opponent Pablo Andujar. He should be considered the favorite here due to current form and the surface but should not underestimate his highly experienced opponent who will be tricky to get through here.
Pablo Andujar is ranked #92 in the world and like his opponent Ilya Ivashka is unseeded here at the 2021 Sofia Open. The veteran Spaniard is a very solid player but has not been having a good year, with a losing 11-14 win/loss record in 2021. After registering a huge win over Roger Federer in Geneva earlier in the year he has not had much success, and will he hoping to get back to winning ways here in Sofia. However, he has been handed a very difficult draw, coming up against the in-form Belarusian Ivashka coupled with the fact that he is not very strong on this surface at all. Primarily a clay court player, Andujar will likely struggle with the power of his opponent and the speed of the courts, and is in for a very tough day at the office. He will have to be at his absolute best and draw on all of his experience in order to make this competitive here, and he enters this match as the big underdog.
This will be the second meeting between the two players on the ATP Tour, with Pablo Andujar leading the head to head series 1-0. They played three years ago in Marrakech with the Spaniard winning in straight sets, however that was on his preferred clay surface. Ivashka has also broken out since then, and is a much better player than he was in Morocco with Andujar also on the decline. While Pablo Andujar is a very solid player, he will be no match for Ilya Ivashka here, and I expect him to go down in straight sets. The Belarusian has been in fantastic form, and his game is much better suited to this surface than that of his opponent. It won’t be a walk in the park, but he simply has too much firepower for Andujar here, and I am expecting a clinical straight sets victory for Ilya Ivashka here, who will advance to the Round of 16 of the 2021 Sofia Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Ilya Ivashka to win in straight sets
Join TopCourt now to learn from some of the best tennis players in the world! Find our exclusive 14-day FREE-trial here!