Fixture: (7) Diego Schwartzman vs Aslan Karatsev
Date: 5 May 2021
Tournament: Mutua Madrid Open 2021
Round: Second round (Round of 32)
Venue: Madrid, Spain
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €2,614,465
Match timing: 11 am local time, 2.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Diego Schwartzman vs Aslan Karatsev preview
Aslan Karatsev marked his Madrid Open debut with a straight-sets win over Ugo Humbert in the first round on Monday. The Russian will next lock horns with Diego Schwartzman in the second round on Wednesday.
Karatsev was quite convincing in his win over Humbert. The 27-year-old struck 24 winners and held his serve throughout, facing just a single break point all match.
With this win, Karatsev has moved to an 18-5 win-loss record for 2021. He now has the most wins on tour this year after Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev (26 each).
The Russian showed why he is a force to be reckoned with on clay during his run to the final at last week's Serbia Open. And he reasserted his prowess on the surface in Madrid by playing a solid all-round game against Humbert.
Karatsev won 82% of the points played on his first serve and kept the Frenchman at bay with his deep backhand and blistering forehand. The Russian's crosscourt backhand, in particular, was very effective as it drew Humbert out of position on numerous occasions.
Karatsev will hope to carry forward the same form into the match against Diego Schwartzman, who received a bye in the first round.
While Schwartzman is a proven claycourter, so far this season he hasn't been able to replicate his 2020 performances (which saw him finish as the runner-up at the Italian Open and a semifinalist at the French Open). Schwartzman did win the title at the Argentina Open a couple of months ago, but failed to make much of a mark in Cordoba, Monte Carlo or Barcelona.
Diego Schwartzman vs Aslan Karatsev head-to-head
Aslan Karatsev leads Diego Schwartzman by a margin of 1-0 in the head-to-head. Karatsev defeated Schwartzman 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 at the Australian Open earlier this year.
Diego Schwartzman vs Aslan Karatsev prediction
Very few players on tour play with the power and control that Aslan Karatsev possesses. The Russian has a whole arsenal of weapons at his disposal, making it very difficult for his opponents to find a viable strategy against him.
Karatsev likes to dominate proceedings with his serve and forehand. But he is equally adept on the backhand side, which is likely to test Diego Schwartzman to the hilt.
The conditions in Madrid are conducive to big-hitting players, which gives Karatsev even more of an edge.
Schwartzman's serve is considerably weaker than Karatsev's, and his groundstrokes too lack the kind of pace that the Russian has. While the Argentine's vast experience could help him grind out a set, it is unlikely that he will be able to withstand Karatsev's power for the entire course of the match.
Prediction: Aslan Karatsev to win in three sets.