TennisSection previews the 2022 Australian Open as Matteo Berrettini takes on Stefan Kozlov in the second round on Wednesday, January 19th, 2022.
Will Matteo Berrettini recover fully from his stomach issues that threatened his Australian Open adventure? Or will Stefan Kozlov make the most of the Italian’s worrying health issues? This will be an interesting battle with a little bit of suspense to it.
Matteo Berrettini won his first-round match against the talented Brandon Nakashima at the Australian Open in four sets. But it wasn’t all plain sailing. He appeared to be struggling with a stomach issue throughout the match. The Italian was forced to the toilet three times and took a medical timeout in the second set. Beforehand he was in all sorts of trouble as Nakashima came racing out of the blocks. The 20-year-old American deservedly took the first set 6-4. However, Berrettini saved two set points on his serve to avoid going down two-sets-to-one in the third set. And once he snatched the third-set tiebreak, he would assert his authority in the contest. He will play another American in the form of Stefan Kozlov.
Stefan Kozlov is making his presence count at the 2022 Australian Open. The 23-year-old finished top of the men’s Australian Open wild card challenge after winning the Champaign Challenger last November. And Kozlov won his first Grand Slam singles match on his debut appearance as he dismissed big-serving Czech Jiri Vesely in straight sets on Monday. Vesely was profligate from the back of the court, tallying a generous amount of unforced errors – 54 to be precise. That figure was never going to secure a place in round two especially when his winners count was half that number.
Matteo Berrettini has not played Stefan Kozlov before, so this will be their first meeting on the professional tour. At 23, Kozlov has taken a little bit of time to enjoy a breakthrough year on the Challenger Tour last season as compared to his contemporaries. But he is a vastly a rookie at this level. Should Berrettini overcome his stomach issues, I expect him to advance unscathed into the third round at the Australian Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Matteo Berrettini in straight sets.
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