Fixture: (18) Grigor Dimitrov vs (15) Pablo Carreno Busta
Date: 12 February 2021
Tournament: Australian Open 2021
Round: Third round (Round of 32)
Venue: Melbourne, Australia
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: AUD $80 million
Match timing: Approx. 2 pm local time, 8.30 am IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony Six
Grigor Dimitrov vs Pablo Carreno Busta preview
Grigor Dimitrov is set to take on fellow former top 10 player Pablo Carreno Busta in a third-round match at the 2021 Australian Open on Friday.
Dimitrov, a former semifinalist at Melbourne Park, has made a strong start to the tournament this year. He has wasted little time in scoring straight-sets wins over Marin Cilic and Alex Bolt, and will look to carry the momentum into his next match.
Carreno Busta has been similarly convincing in his wins over the first few days of the tournament. Playing against tough opponents in the form of Kei Nishikori and Jiri Vesely, he has done well to hold his own.
The Spaniard seems to have hit a purple patch in terms of Grand Slam results. He made it to the quarterfinals and semifinals at Roland Garros and the US Open last year respectively, and will be keen on replicating that kind of success Down Under.
Melbourne hasn't always been a happy hunting ground for Carreno Busta. But with faster conditions and a good build-up, the 29-year-old will be fancying his chances this time around.
Grigor Dimitrov vs Pablo Carreno Busta head-to-head
Grigor Dimitrov and Pablo Carreno Busta have split their six career meetings, so their current head-to-head stands at a 3-3 deadlock. However, it is the Bulgarian who has taken both of the duo's matches played on hardcourts.
Grigor Dimitrov vs Pablo Carreno Busta prediction
This is a fairly well-balanced match-up as both men have been playing some good tennis in recent times. But while Pablo Carreno Busta is the higher seed, it is Grigor Dimitrov who might have a slight edge given the conditions.
The Bulgarian plays an aggressive brand of tennis, which is characterized by powerful groundstrokes and a willingness to follow them into the net. Add to that his strong serving numbers from the first two matches, and Dimitrov starts looking like a formidable opponent.
Carreno Busta will have to try and take the initiative in the rallies and not let his opponent impose himself too much. The Spaniard does enjoy playing in quicker conditions more than some of his compatriots, but he will have to be at his sharpest to be able to score his first hardcourt win over Dimitrov.
Prediction: Grigor Dimitrov to win in four sets.