Fixture: (3) Felix Auger-Aliassime vs. Henri Laaksonen
Date: 15 October 2020
Tournament: Cologne 1
Round: Second round (Round of 16)
Venue: Cologne, Germany
Category: ATP 250 Series.
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: €325,610
Match timing: Not before 5.30 pm CEST, 9 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Henri Laaksonen preview
After suffering a straight-sets loss in the first round of Roland Garros 2020, Felix Auger-Aliassime will be keen to put up a strong show in Cologne as he faces Henri Laaksonen in the second round of the Bett1Hulks Indoors 2020 event.
The third-seeded Canadian has a win-loss record of 18-13 in the 2020 season so far. After losing to Dominic Thiem in the fourth round of US Open 2020, Auger-Aliassime went down to Filip Krajinovic in the first round of the Italian Open.
Subsequently, he lost in the second round of the Hamburg Open to World No. 56 Alexander Bublik, before being tamed by Yoshihito Nishioka in the opening round at Paris.
Felix Auger-Aliassime will face a stiff challenge in the form of Henri Laaksonen at Cologne. The Swiss qualifier is on a three-match winning streak in Germany, having won the first-round match against Daniel Altmaier and before that his two qualifying games - versus Yuichi Sugita and Daniel Masur.
Laaksonen has dropped just one set in three matches heading into the second round clash against Felix Auger-Aliassime.
The 28-year-old had made it to the French Open main draw last month, where he lost 1-6, 6-2, 4-6, 2-6 to Pablo Cuevas in the opening round. The World No. 139 player has a win-loss record of 2-5 in 2020.
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Henri Laaksonen head-to-head
Felix Auger-Aliassime has not played Henri Laaksonen before, so their head-to-head record currently stands at 0-0. But the two players had battled each other at a Challenger event in Marburg two years ago, where Auger-Aliassime emerged victorious in straight sets.
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Henri Laaksonen prediction
Felix Auger-Aliassime did not impress much in his last three tournaments and has largely struggled on clay of late. However, the 20-year-old had made it to the final of the hardcourt events in Rotterdam and Marseille earlier this year.
Both Auger-Aliassime and Henri Laaksonen have strong serves. The Canadian did not offer Andy Murray a single break point opportunity when the two players crossed paths in the US Open. Similarly, Laaksonen blasted seven aces and had a first serve win percentage of 71% during his first-round match against Altmaier.
That said, Auger-Aliassime's wristy forehand will likely be the difference-maker in this match; the Canadian should be expected to progress to the next round.
Prediction: Felix Auger-Aliassime to win in straight sets.Published 11 Oct 2020, 21:14 IST