Fixture: (20) Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Aslan Karatsev
Date: 14 February 2021
Tournament: Australian Open 2021
Round: Fourth round (Round of 16)
Venue: Melbourne, Australia
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor Hardcourt
Prize money: AUD $80 million
Live Telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | India - Sony Ten Network / Sony Liv Premium
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Aslan Karatsev preview
Canada's rising star Felix Auger-Aliassime will face high-flying qualifier Aslan Karatsev of Russia in a fourth-round match at the 2021 Australian Open on Sunday.
The 20-year-old Auger-Aliassime won an all-Canadian clash in the third round, beating his slightly older compatriot Denis Shapovalov in straight sets. Auger-Aliassime was down a break in the first set as well as the second, but he showed incredible fighting spirit to come back and win each of them by an identical scoreline of 7-5.
By the third set, the younger Canadian was in full control of the match. He broke early and held his own serve to seal a Grand Slam second-week berth for the second time in his career.
The 20th seed now faces an unseeded opponent in Aslan Karatsev as he seeks a first-ever quarterfinal appearance at a Major.
Karatsev has seen his career reach new heights in the opening week of the Australian Open. The qualifier had not played in the main draw of a Slam before this week, but has surprised everyone with a run to the fourth round in his first attempt.
To add to that, the Russian has achieved this feat without the loss of a set.
Karatsev registered the biggest win of his career over World No. 9 Diego Schwartzman to book his place in the Round of 16 at Melbourne Park. The Russian completed the job in shockingly routine fashion, sending the eighth seed home in straight sets.
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Aslan Karatsev head-to-head
Felix Auger-Aliassime and Aslan Karatsev have never met on the ATP Tour, so their current head-to-head stands at 0-0. They did, however, face off at the 2018 Tashkent Challenger, where the Canadian emerged victorious in three sets.
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Aslan Karatsev prediction
Felix Auger-Aliassime produced one of the strongest displays of his young career against Denis Shapovalov in the third round.
The rising star has often been criticized for conceding too many unforced errors when he's not finding his range. But that was not a problem on Friday, as Auger-Aliassime outhit his compatriot while also keeping his error count in check.
Aslan Karatsev meanwhile has a considerable amount of experience on hardcourts in the Challenger circuit. The Russian loves the faster courts, which was evident in the third round as he took care of Schwartzman's serve with ease.
But Karatsev lacks the big stage exposure that his much younger opponent has. And that makes Auger-Aliassime the favorite going into the match on Sunday.
Prediction: Felix Auger-Aliassime to win in straight sets.