Five seeds are still in the quarterfinal round of 2021 ATP Serbia Open in Belgrade, including World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Will the Serbian get tested for the first time this week on Wednesday? Who do you think will make it to the final four?
ATP Belgrade Quarterfinal Predictions
Federico Delbonis vs Taro Daniel
Head-to-head: Daniel 1-0
It was like the story of Federico Delbonis’ career elapsed in that second-round win over Dusan Lajovic. Glimpses of something amazing, followed by extremely weak patches of play and the unwillingness to go for shots up the line. Nevertheless, he’s through and with a great chance to reach the semifinals. It’s certainly not an automatic win, and despite being a lucky loser, Taro Daniel can give him a good scare. The Japanese hasn’t faced such a competent clay-court specialist in the main draw yet though and probably shouldn’t have a weapon matching the Delbonis forehand.
Prediction: Delbonis in 2
Matteo Berrettini vs Filip Krajinovic
Head-to-head: Berrettini 1-0
Matteo Berrettini played just two matches since the Australian Open, losing to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina but defeating Marco Cecchinato on Wednesday. The Italian owns two tour-level titles on clay, one taken by defeating his Belgrade quarterfinal opponent, Filip Krajinovic. Undeniably, Berrettini isn’t playing as well as he was back in the 2019 season and this one should be much closer. Krajinovic defeated Nikola Milojevic in the second round, losing just two games. Berrettini’s power will be a huge asset but the Serbian’s ability to take time away and hit the balls early might just outweigh it.
Prediction: Krajinovic in 3
Gianluca Mager vs Aslan Karatsev
Gianluca Mager advanced to the quarterfinals with a straightforward victory over Alexei Popyrin, while Aslan Karatsev had to fend off Aljaz Bedene all the way to a third-set tie-break. The Italian took their only head-to-head meeting on clay, while Karatsev defeated Mager comfortably at the Australian Open in January. Both players will be looking to overpower their opponent as most of their assets are offensive. Karatsev should have the upper hand then, with his superior timing allowing him to take the ball early.
Prediction: Karatsev in 3
Novak Djokovic vs Miomir Kecmanovic
Head-to-head: First meeting
There are some question marks with Novak Djokovic’s disposition after an early loss to Dan Evans at Monte Carlo. His second-round victory over Soon-Woo Kwon was extremely comfortable, though, and one probably shouldn’t expect upsets like that to keep happening. Is there anything Miomir Kecmanovic can do to throw his older compatriot off his game? Djokovic has been struggling to generate pace on clay of late so the rallies might get extended more than the 18-time Grand Slam champion would like, but the 33-year-old should still come out on top in most of them.
Prediction: Djokovic in 2
Main Photo from Getty.