Fixture: Kevin Anderson vs Tommy Paul
Date: 21 September 2020
Tournament: Hamburg European Open 2020
Round: First round (Round of 32)
Venue: Hamburg, Germany
Category: ATP 500
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €1,062,520
Match timing: 1.30 pm CEST, 5 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony Six
Kevin Anderson vs Tommy Paul preview
South Africa's Kevin Anderson looks to get his 2020 season back on track as he takes on Tommy Paul in the first round of the Hamburg Open on Monday.
Anderson was ruled out of the second half of 2019 after an injury sustained at Wimbledon. He then made his comeback to the tour in somewhat unspectacular fashion at the Australian Open this year, losing in the second round to Taylor Fritz.
Since the lockdown too, Anderson has been a little underwhelming with his performances. Since a promising win against Kyle Edmund at the Western & Southern Open, the South African has failed to win a single match on the tour; he has entered the Hamburg Open main draw on the basis of his protected ranking.
Anderson's first opponent is the young and talented Tommy Paul who, despite having a brilliant career on the junior circuit, is yet to make his mark among the seniors.
Paul had a promising start to 2020, reaching the Australian Open third round, the semifinal in Adelaide and the quarterfinal in Acapulco. However, as tennis has returned amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the American is yet to win a main draw match despite entering a host of events over the past two months.
That said, Paul does come into this match with some confidence, having defeated Joao Sousa and Alexander Bublik in the Hamburg qualifiers in relatively comfortable fashion.
Kevin Anderson vs Tommy Paul head-to-head
The meeting in Hamburg is the first between Kevin Anderson and Tommy Paul and therefore, their head-to-head currently stands at 0-0. Paul is ranked 59th in the world - nearly the best of his career - while due to his injury problems last year, Anderson is ranked 119th - his worst in many years.
Kevin Anderson vs Tommy Paul prediction
Although Kevin Anderson has won just on match since the restart, the argument can be made that he has faced some quality opposition during his run - including the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev.
Tommy Paul, on the other hand, has shown that he can beat any player on any surface on his day, boasting career wins against the likes of Grigor Dimitrov. And with his impressive forehand and foot speed, the American is a particularly dangerous player on clay.
Anderson has a big game based largely on his serve, and has never enjoyed the best results on red dirt. The one-strike approach he often uses to get out of trouble is not very effective on clay, although his forehand does possess the ability to put any player on the backfoot.
Ultimately, the match may boil down to Anderson's physical condition, and his consistency with his serve. Paul will fancy his chances on this surface, where he has looked good so far in qualifying.
Prediction: Tommy Paul to win in three sets.Published 21 Sep 2020, 01:02 IST