We arrive at the quarterfinal stage of the 2021 ATP Hamburg European Open, where the seeds clash with each other. Even Stefanos Tsitsipas or Pablo Carreno Busta won’t have an easy time advancing. Who do you think will make the final four?
Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Laslo Djere
Head-to-head: Djere 3-2
The pair contested all of their meeting on clay, most recently this year at Cagliari where Nikoloz Basilashvili was able to take just two games off Laslo Djere. The Georgian is in the quarterfinals without having to play a single match, benefitting from a first-round bye and Sebastian Baez’s withdrawal. He has a wonderful track record in Hamburg, winning the tournament back-to-back two and three years ago.
The mercurial nature of his performances makes the Georgian a very tough player to predict, but Djere has a very good set of tools to expose inconsistency. The Serbian has been looking great in Hamburg so far, constructing the points extremely well. Along with his dominant win in Cagliari and better match rhythm, he should be regarded as the favorite to win this quarterfinal.
Prediction: Djere in 2
Pablo Carreno Busta vs Dusan Lajovic
Head-to-head: Carreno Busta 4-2
Their clay-court meetings were evenly split. Dusan Lajovic won the last one in Nice six years ago. The Serb was in need of such a run, going just three wins and seven losses on clay up until Hamburg. Pablo Carreno Busta is having a much better season with a fourth-round appearance at the French Open and an ATP title at Marbella. While Lajovic most certainly upped his game this week, he probably won’t be quite there yet to beat an opponent of Carreno Busta’s class. The Spaniard only had to play one match to get to the quarterfinals but looked very solid dispatching Carlos Taberner.
Prediction: Carreno Busta in 3
Benoit Paire vs Federico Delbonis
Head-to-head: First meeting
This has been Benoit Paire’s best week in a really long time, the first time he’s won consecutive matches since the pandemic. The Frenchman is still struggling to maintain consistency, but his second-round clash against Juan Pablo Varillas had some really bright moments. He might have improved a bit, but beating someone who’s doing as well as Federico Delbonis this year should still be too much of an ask. The Argentinian already has 27 match wins on clay this season and keeping up that pace would make it the best year of his career.
Prediction: Delbonis in 3
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Filip Krajinovic
Head-to-head: Tsitsipas 2-0
Stefanos Tsitsipas has played just two matches since reaching the finals at Roland Garros. On Wednesday, he had a very tricky opening-round opponent in Dominik Koepfer. The German stuck around with the top seed for over a set and a half, and really tested his baseline game. Filip Krajinovic is very similar to Koepfer in some ways, also excelling at counter-punching and playing quick off the bounce. Tsitsipas’s ground game will need to be really sharp again. But looking at how he was able to raise his level when needed against Koepfer, this match should be on the Greek’s racket.
Prediction: Tsitsipas in 2
Main Photo from Getty.