Date: 20 October 2020
Tournament: bett1Hulks Championship 2020
Round: First round (Round of 32)
Venue: Cologne, Germany
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Indoor Hard Court
Prize money: €325,610
Match timing: Not before 6 pm CEST, 9.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
*Note: An earlier version of this article stated that Jannik Sinner would be playing Hubert Hurkacz in the first round. However, Hurkacz has now withdrawn from the tournament and so he has been replaced by James Duckworth in the draw.
Jannik Sinner vs James Duckworth preview
Teenage sensation Jannik Sinner will kickstart his European hardcourt swing against lucky loser James Duckworth at the bett1Hulks Championship in Cologne, Germany.
Sinner was initially supposed to face Hubert Hurkacz in the first round, but the Pole withdrew due to a stomach bug.
The Italian himself is recovering from a stomach bug, which had forced him to pull out of the St. Petersburg even last week. Sinner would be hoping that he’s now fully energized ahead of a grueling week of indoor tennis.
The 19-year-old announced himself to the world earlier this month by making his first-ever quarterfinal appearance at a Grand Slam. Sinner defeated the likes of Alexander Zverev and David Goffin at the French Open before ultimately falling short against the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal.
What impressed fans and experts alike was the level of composure that Sinner displayed in his matches. The youngster is touted by many to be the next big thing in tennis, and he justified those claims at Roland Garros.
James Duckworth on the other hand has been a journeyman for much of his career. The 28-year-old has considerable experience and achievements on the Challenger and Futures circuit but has been unable to translate that success on the ATP tour.
The Australian's form since the resumption of the tour has been pretty woeful too. Duckworth lost in the opening rounds at the US Open, the French Open and the St. Petersburg Open.
Jannik Sinner vs James Duckworth head-to-head
Jannik Sinner and James Duckworth have never played each other on tour before, so their head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Jannik Sinner vs James Duckworth prediction
This is an intriguing clash on paper given that both players employ a very attacking brand of tennis. Jannik Sinner and James Duckworth both have the ability to go big on their groundstrokes, but it is the Italian who has a more measured approach.
Sinner is also more technically sound and can cause Duckworth plenty of problems with the variety of weapons at his disposal.
We can expect a lot of crosscourt exchanges in this match given the ability of Sinner to find sharp angles. Another area where the 19-year-old holds the advantage is the pace on his groundstrokes; the Italian is blessed with the kind of easy power that can take the racquet out of anyone's hands.
Duckworth boasts of a strong serve which he will no doubt rely upon to keep himself afloat. The key for the Italian would be to avoid overhitting on the return and prevent the Australian from getting free points.
Prediction: Jannik Sinner to win in straight sets.Published 18 Oct 2020, 19:38 IST