The second round of the 2021 ATP Serbia Open in Belgrade will be completed on Tuesday as high seeds Aslan Karatsev and Dusan Lajovic kick off their campaigns. Who do you have making the quarterfinals?
ATP Belgrade Day 4 Predictions
John Millman vs Taro Daniel
Head-to-head: Millman 3-1
They have never faced each other on clay and that’s definitely the surface Taro Daniel has the best chance to beat John Millman at. But can he actually do it on Thursday? Millman had a dreadful start to the season and somewhat surprisingly, clay actually gave him a bit of a fresh start. The Australian has already defeated players such as Ugo Humbert or Federico Coria on the dirt and appears to be enjoying himself more than usual. Taro Daniel hasn’t been playing anything spectacular of late and Millman’s grit and determination might just see him through.
Prediction: Millman in 3
Federico Delbonis vs Dusan Lajovic
Head-to-head: Delbonis 5-2
How valuable is such a rich head-to-head history that dates back to 2012? The two haven’t played in four years and it’s undeniable that it’s Dusan Lajovic who’s made more progress since then. Federico Delbonis never really made the most out of his huge potential and has been since surpassed by the Serbian in terms of most tennis achievements. Delbonis does have more weapons though, especially with the loopy topspin forehand that can be extremely dangerous on his day. Lajovic will try to stay solid and given the Argentinian’s unimpressive first-round performance, he should have a decent shot to make that head-to-head a little more even.
Prediction: Lajovic in 3
Alexei Popyrin vs Gianluca Mager
Head-to-head: First meeting
Alexei Popyrin saved three match points to beat Francisco Cerundolo in the opening round, taking advantage of the Argentinian struggling to get over the finish line. Gianluca Mager should also be good enough to put himself in a winning position against Popyrin on clay though. The 2020 Rio Open runner-up recently won a Challenger title in Marbella and plays all-out attacking tennis on the clay, really taking the racket out of the opponent’s hands when it works. Should he have more killer instinct than Cerundolo? Probably yes.
Prediction: Mager in 2
Aslan Karatsev vs Aljaz Bedene
Head-to-head: First meeting
Aslan Karatsev used to be extremely good on clay on the Challenger Tour, but it remains to be seen if he can play as well on it on the main tour. His flat backhand and balls to the wall aggression certainly weren’t overly effective against eventual champion Stefanos Tsitsipas in Monte Carlo. Aljaz Bedene saved two match points on return to defeat Sebastian Korda in the first round here and also wasn’t that convincing. The Slovenian excels in baseline exchanges but if Karatsev plays his power game with a limited error count, he probably isn’t capable of hampering him too much.
Prediction: Karatsev in 3
Main Photo from Getty.