Delray Beach 2021: Sebastian Korda vs Tommy Paul preview, head-to-head & prediction

Sebastian Korda
Sebastian Korda

Match details

Fixture: (5) Tommy Paul vs Sebastian Korda

Date: 9 January 2021

Tournament: Delray Beach Open 2021

Round: Second round (Round of 16)

Venue: Delray Beach, Florida, United States

Category: ATP 250

Surface: Outdoor hardcourt

Prize money: $349,530

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel

Sebastian Korda vs Tommy Paul preview

Sebastian Korda lost to Rafael Nadal in the 4th Round of the 2020 French Open
Sebastian Korda lost to Rafael Nadal in the 4th Round of the 2020 French Open

Fifth seed Tommy Paul will be looking to make the quarterfinals of the 2021 Delray Beach Open when he takes on countryman Sebastian Korda on Saturday.

This time last year, Paul had reached the last four of the 250 event in Adelaide. The 23-year-old would go on to beat then-World No.7 Alexander Zverev a few weeks later in Acapulco, before reaching a career-high ranking of No. 52.

However, Paul had his momentum cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. He lost his first three matches after the tour resumption in August last year.

Paul started his campaign at the 250 event in Florida in fine fashion though. He took just over an hour to dispatch South Korea's Nam Ji-sung in his opener.

The Next Gen starlet would be hoping to have a breakthrough year in 2021, but first he will need to get the better of an even younger opponent.

Sebastian Korda happens to be the son of former World No. 2 Petr Korda, who won the Australian Open in 1998. The 20-year-old is blessed with a sporting family all around; he also has two sisters, both of whom are top-level professional golfers.

Korda made quite a splash last year with his much-publicized adulation for Rafael Nadal. Having worked extensively with his father as well as Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi in the pre-season, Korda looked in great form on Thursday as he took down South Korea's Kwon Soon-woo in straight sets.

The 20-year-old has now won four ATP level matches in his young career. And three of those came at Roland Garros 2020, where he reached the fourth round before losing to none other than his idol Rafael Nadal.

Sebastian Korda vs Tommy Paul head-to-head

Sebastian Korda and Tommy Paul have never played each other on the ATP tour, and therefore their head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.

Sebastian Korda vs Tommy Paul prediction

Tommy Paul
Tommy Paul

Sebastian Korda and Tommy Paul have similar playing styles. Just like his father, Korda Jr. has a big serve and gliding movement. The 6ft 5in 20-year-old plays a big ball on his forehand, and can hold his own at the net too.

That said, Korda is not as impressive with his foot speed as he is with the other attributes of his game. By contrast, Paul possesses very solid footwork along the baseline and also good speed coming into the net.

The USP of Paul's game, however, is his no-nonsense forehand which he uses to great effect in attack.

Korda, who is yet to play a full season on the main tour, might not have the endurance to outlast Paul if the rallies go too long. The older American's consistent game and good form over the last year will likely help him come through this match.

Prediction: Tommy Paul to win in three sets.

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Edited by Musab Abid
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