Even though Stefanos Tsitsipas got eliminated, it’s a star-studded field in the quarterfinal round of the 2021 ATP Erste Bank Open in Vienna. Implications regarding the remaining ATP Finals could be huge and the players are expected to show some real quality. Who do you think will make the semifinals?
ATP Vienna Quarterfinal Predictions
Carlos Alcaraz vs Matteo Berrettini
Head-to-head: First meeting
Initially linked with clay courts only, Carlos Alcaraz keeps proving that his attacking style translates well to other surfaces. The Spaniard made the quarterfinals at the US Open and advanced to the quarterfinals here with straight-set wins over Dan Evans and Andy Murray. The easy power on his forehand can go a long way, but he’s facing an opponent that can match him in that category. What should prove extremely important (and fatal for Alcaraz) here is Matteo Berrettini’s huge serve, which should grant him a lot more free points. The teenager has lots of room for improvement in that aspect of his game, but he can cause trouble if he can pin the Italian to his weaker backhand wing.
Prediction: Berrettini in 3
Frances Tiafoe vs Diego Schwartzman
Head-to-head: Schwartzman 2-0
Diego Schwartzman has already gotten the better of Frances Tiafoe twice this year, but neither of these victories were particularly comfortable. The American is coming off a stunning win over top-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas, but it might be fairly hard to repeat. Schwartzman has proven time and time again that slower indoor conditions actually work out very well for him. His brutal return game could expose Tiafoe’s serve if he’s not careful. On top of that, the Argentinian has no obvious attackable weaknesses, which makes him a very tough opponent for the 23-year-old.
Prediction: Schwartzman in 3
Casper Ruud vs Jannik Sinner
Head-to-head: Sinner 1-0
A fascinating matchup between two of the contenders to fill up the remaining spots in the ATP Finals. Jannik Sinner is on a fantastic indoor streak, taking titles in Sofia and Antwerp. The Italian hasn’t been broken in 41 games and thrives in slower conditions under the roof. He managed to defeat Casper Ruud in Vienna last year, although it has to be noted that the Norwegian massively improved his hard-court game since then. He’s getting tougher and tougher to overpower, but if Sinner can keep up his level from the past couple of weeks, he should grab another win in his campaign to make a late push for Turin.
Prediction: Sinner in 2
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Alexander Zverev
Head-to-head: Zverev 3-1
Felix Auger-Aliassime’s chances of getting to Turin are a long shot at best, but the Canadian kept himself in contention by producing a stunning comeback to beat Cameron Norrie. He defeated Alexander Zverev at Wimbledon this year but lost their only indoor meeting at Cologne in 2020. With Auger-Aliassime, everything seems to depend on the condition of his forehand, which is a barometer of his game. If that shot is working well, his tennis comes together. It is prone to inconsistency though and could lead to his demise here. Zverev has the ability to win ugly and a lot better neutral gear.
Prediction: Zverev in 3
Main Photo from Getty.