The opening round of the 2021 ATP Serbia Open will be completed on Day 2 in Belgrade. In one of the most exciting clashes of the day, Sebastian Korda takes on Aljaz Bedene in his first clay-court match since losing to Rafael Nadal at the 2020 Roland Garros. Who do you think will advance? We also predict the day’s other four matches in a separate article.
ATP Belgrade Day 2 Predictions
Ricardas Berankis vs Federico Delbonis
Head-to-head: Delbonis 2-1
This is one where the surface should make all the difference. Federico Delbonis won their only clay meeting in Houston in straight sets six years ago. Ricardas Berankis is a flatter hitter and his shots are far less effective on the dirt. Delbonis’ big serve and the loopy forehand topspin become real weapons on a surface like that and he should be able to extend his head-to-head lead over Berankis.
Prediction: Delbonis in 2
Laslo Djere vs Gianluca Mager
Head-to-head: Djere 1-0
Laslo Djere failed to make an impact at Monte Carlo but the Serbian definitely proved his clay-court expertise at Cagliari, only barely losing out on the title to Lorenzo Sonego. Gianluca Mager has also been in good form, winning the Marbella Challenger. The Italian’s attacking brand of clay court tennis can be extremely dangerous but it’s going to be a big ask to hit through such a solid and consistent opponent as Djere. Mager was also unimpressive in the qualifying campaign, struggling both against Benjamin Bonzi and Taro Daniel.
Prediction: Djere in 2
Soon-woo Kwon vs Roberto Carballes Baena
Head-to-head: First meeting
Having just triumphed at the Challenger event at the same venue, Roberto Carballes Baena had a bit of a flop in the qualifying draw, losing to Fransisco Cerundolo. He got a second chance due to a lucky loser spot though and this should actually be a bit of a step down in competition. Soon-Woo Kwon has only played a handful of matches on clay in his career and shouldn’t be able to outgrind a competitor like the Spaniard, who has been practicing on this surface ever since he picked up a tennis racket.
Prediction: Carballes Baena in 2
Sebastian Korda vs Aljaz Bedene
Head-to-head: First meeting
Match of the round? It looks very promising, especially if you factor in Aljaz Bedene’s results on clay from a few seasons ago. With the improvements to his serve, the Slovenian has been more successful on hard or indoors recently though and for whatever reason, he seems to have lost his way on what used to be his most successful surface. Sebastian Korda has been in brilliant form this season, compiling a 15-5 win/loss record. The American reached the fourth round at last year’s Roland Garros and while he hasn’t competed on clay in 2021 yet, he seems to have a lot more upside than the always solid Bedene.
Prediction: Korda in 3
Main Photo from Getty.