Fixture: (2) Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Sebastian Korda
Date: 18 August 2021
Tournament: 2021 Western & Southern Open
Round: Second round (Round of 32)
Venue: Cincinnati, Ohio
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $3,028,140
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video | India - Voot Select
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Sebastian Korda preview
Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas faces a tricky opening test in the shape of American prodigy Sebastian Korda in the second round of the Western & Southern Open on Wednesday.
After reaching his maiden Major final at Roland Garros, Tsitsipas looked set to kick on in the second half of the season. But the 23-year-old struggled for form, losing early at Wimbledon, the Hamburg Open and the Tokyo Olympics.
Tsitsipas managed to turn his fortunes around in the Toronto Masters, where he made the semifinals. The Greek, however, squandered a one-set lead against the big-serving Reilly Opelka, eventually succumbing to a 6-7(2), 7-6 (4), 6-4 loss to the 6'11" American.
Sebastian Korda, meanwhile, has enjoyed plenty of success this season. The 20-year-old American reached the final at Delray Beach, where he lost to Hubert Hurkacz.
Korda followed it up with a quarter-final run at the Miami Masters, beating the likes of Diego Schwartzman and Aslan Karatsev before losing to World No. 7 Andrey Rublev.
Korda's form completely dropped off at the start of the claycourt season, and he lost four of his first five matches on the surface. The American, however, bounced back in Parma, where he won his maiden ATP title after defeating Marco Cecchinato in the final.
Sebastian Korda, the son of former Australian Open champion Petr Korda, then went on to reach the second week at Wimbledon in his first main-draw appearance at the All England Club.
After suffering an early exit in Washington, Korda arrived in Cincinnati with a point to prove. He got his campaign in the American city off to the perfect start with a straight-sets win over Laslo Djere in the first round.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Sebastian Korda head-to-head
The second-round match in Cincinnati will be the first-ever career meeting between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Sebastian Korda, so the head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Sebastian Korda prediction
Sebastian Korda has worked extensively with his father as well as the likes of Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf to improve his game. The hard work has clearly paid off as he has made giant strides this season.
The American likes to take the ball on the rise, helping him generate plenty of power from the back of the court. Despite his 6'5" frame, Korda is a pretty good mover on the court and can get a lot of balls back into play.
Like Korda, Stefanos Tsitsipas is also an aggressive baseliner. The Greek boasts arguably the best forehand on tour at the moment and can use that shot to dominate opponents from the back of the court. The Greek can also change direction at will and move his opponents around the court.
That said, Tsitsipas has a lot of room for improvement in his return game. The Greek struggles to get returns back into play consistently, especially off his backhand wing. Korda is a decent server and can take advantage of that fact.
If the American can direct most of the traffic to Tsitsipas' backhand and keep him camped on that side of the court, he should be able to dictate the play and come out on top.
Prediction: Sebastian Korda to win in three tight sets.