Date: 9 January 2021
Tournament: Delray Beach Open 2021
Round: Round of 16 (Second round)
Venue: Delray Beach, Florida, United States
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $349,530
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel
Sam Querrey vs Gianluca Mager preview
Former World No. 11 Sam Querrey will take on Gianluca Mager in the second round of the Delray Beach Open 2021 on Saturday.
Currently ranked No. 56 in the world, the 6 ft 6 inch Querrey is a former Wimbledon semifinalist too. He reached the last four at the All England Club in 2017, after knocking out home favorite Andy Murray in the quarterfinals.
Querrey had also reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 2016, stunning Novak Djokovic in the process. Known for his big serve which he uses to set up his powerful groundstrokes, Querrey loves playing on the American hardcourts and should feel at home in Delray Beach - an event he won in 2016.
Meanwhile the 26-year-old Gianluca Mager broke into the top 100 just last year. He reached his first ATP final too in 2020, at the Rio Open - which included a win over Dominic Thiem.
The last two years have seen a big jump in the Italian's ranking. Mager went 43-23 at Challengers in 2019, winning three titles. That's not bad for someone who never held a junior ranking, and who played tennis only for fun till the age of 18.
Sam Querrey vs Gianluca Mager head-to-head
Sam Querrey and Gianluca Mager have never played each other on the ATP tour, and therefore the head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Sam Querrey vs Gianluca Mager prediction
Sam Querrey is currently on probation for breaching the COVID-19 protocols at the St. Petersburg Open. In his first-round match at Delray Beach, Querrey scored a straight-sets win over fellow American Mackenzie McDonald. That was his first match since the St. Petersburg event, which he recently detailed in an interview, and also his first since becoming a father.
On the other hand, Gianluca Mager scored a gritty come-from-behind win in his first-round encounter. The Italian defeated Ryan Harrison 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 to book his passage into the Round of 16.
Querrey will hope for his first serve to be working, while Mager will look to elongate the rallies wherever possible. The Italian moves around the court pretty well, and can outlast many players in a battle of attrition.
This is likely to be a close contest but Querrey should be able to come through, mainly on the strength of his serve.
Prediction: Sam Querrey to win in three sets.