Fixture: Alexander Zverev vs Laslo Djere
Date: 17 March 2021
Tournament: Abierto Mexicano Telcel 2021
Round: Second round (Round of 16)
Venue: Acapulco, Mexico
Category: ATP 500
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $1,053,560
Match timing: Approx. 8 pm local time, 7.30 am IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel
Alexander Zverev vs Laslo Djere preview
World No. 7 Alexander Zverev will be looking to win his first ATP title this year when he takes on Serbia's Laslo Djere in the Round of 16 at Acapulco.
Zverev kickstarted his 2021 season in respectable fashion, beating Denis Shapovalov and losing to Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev in his three matches at the ATP Cup. The German subsequently reached the quarterfinals of the 2021 Australian Open, where he lost again to Djokovic.
Zverev then suffered a surprise defeat to Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik in his first match at the Rotterdam Open. However, the 2020 US Open finalist was in sparkling form in the first round of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel.
Zverev put up a dominant all-round display as he routed Spain's teen prodigy Carlos Alcaraz on Monday. The German blasted 11 aces and won 50% of his first return points in the match.
Zverev has reached the final at this 500-level event in the past, having finished as the runner-up to Nick Kyrgios in 2019.
World No. 54 Laslo Djere, meanwhile, has not had too many great hardcourt results of late. Before arriving in Acapulco, the Serb had dropped seven of his last eight competitive matches on the surface.
Djere prefers playing on clay, where he has won his two career titles (2019 Rio Open and 2020 Forte Village Sardegna Open).
Alexander Zverev vs Laslo Djere head-to-head
The Round-of-16 match in Acapulco will be the first-ever career meeting between Alexander Zverev and Laslo Djere, so the head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Alexander Zverev vs Laslo Djere prediction
Alexander Zverev has been unloading on his forehand regularly these days, having seemingly abandoned his conservative style from 2019. The German has a world-class backhand too, and can hit effortless down-the-line winners that careen past his helpless opponents like dragonflies.
Laslo Djere on his part has a solid game too, with a pretty effective backhand himself. The Serb is capable of striking the ball with pace and precision off his backhand, and he will look to use that shot to put pressure on Zverev's two-hander in the crosscourt rallies.
But while Djere has the tools to slug it out from the baseline, his skill set is quite limited compared to his younger opponent. Zverev can mix up his game with net attacks, and can also change direction more easily than his opponent.
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If the 6'6" German is in his element on Wednesday, he will most likely make it through to the last eight in Acapulco.
Prediction: Alexander Zverev to win in straight sets.