An enthralling week of tennis at the ATP Astana Open comes to a close with the championship match between two unseeded and exciting talents. James Duckworth takes on Kwon Soonwoo in what is a first t0ur level final for both. As ever, we here at LWOT are offering our prediction for the title clash, but who will win their first tour-level title and who will fall to the disappointment of defeat?
ATP Astana Open Final Prediction
James Duckworth vs Kwon Soonwoo
Head-to-head: first meeting
Duckworth has been a revelation this week. The Aussie has had to make his way through a loaded section of the draw, but he has beaten the fourth, fifth and eighth seeds to reach the final. And he has done that without losing a set yet this week. That’s a direct result of him not showing any nerves whatsoever when closing out a match or playing a tight tiebreaker. He will no doubt be desperate to make the most of this opportunity to win his first career title.
Kwon has a lot of potential. Sure there are areas he can still refine his game, but the South Korean has great mental strength and a solid understanding of his limitations. He has been able to will him on to win more than once this week despite finding himself in some difficult situations. That being said, Kwon has played two three-setters in his last two matches and how quickly he recovers from those exertions may well decide his fate here.
There looks to be very little to separate this pair. Baseline rallies should be the norm for most part of the match with Kwon defending slightly better than the Australian. Neither player possesses a booming serve, but they’ve defended their serve well for the most part this week and at least one tiebreaker looks to be likely as a result. All in all, this should be a match that’s definitely worth watching with plenty of momentum swings, but Kwon has the higher ceiling of the two and should just about have the edge.
Prediction: Kwon in 3
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