Date: 8 April 2021
Tournament: AnyTech365 Andalucia Open 2021
Round: Second round (Round of 16)
Venue: Marbella, Spain
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €408,800
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Europsort
Carlos Alcaraz vs Feliciano Lopez preview
Feliciano Lopez will be looking to put together a strong run at the 2021 Andalucia Open, but might face some resistance from teen prodigy Carlos Alcaraz in his second-round match.
Lopez has been struggling lately, having dropped 10 of his last 14 matches on the pro tour before arriving in Marbella. But the 39-year-old gave a good account of himself at this year's Australian Open; he came from two sets to love down against Lorenzo Sonego in the second round before losing to Andrey Rublev in the third.
While Lopez can more than hold his own on hardcourts and grass, the World No. 64 has not been as impressive on clay over the years. Only one of the Spaniard's seven tour titles has come on dirt, which is not surprising given his first-strike playing style that is based on a big serve and quick net approaches.
Having said that, Lopez was in complete control of his match against Taro Daniel in the Marbella first round.
His countryman Carlos Alcaraz, meanwhile, has been working under former World No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero for some time now. The teen phenom won his first tour match at the age of 16, beating claycourt veteran Albert Ramos-Vinolas at the 2020 Rio Open. Alcaraz has continued to impress a year later, rising to a career-high ATP ranking of 127th in the world.
Alcaraz made a good start to his Marbella campaign on Tuesday, winning 80% of his first serve points en route to beating qualifier Nikola Milojevic.
Carlos Alcaraz vs Feliciano Lopez head-to-head
The second-round match in Marbella will be the first-ever career meeting between Feliciano Lopez and Carlos Alcaraz, so their head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Carlos Alcaraz vs Feliciano Lopez prediction
Feliciano Lopez is far removed from his best years, and his groundstrokes have regressed considerably in recent times. But while the Spaniard is not very solid from the baseline anymore, he regularly employs the slice to disrupt the rhythm of his opponents. Lopez also has a clutch first serve, which often helps him in staving off break points.
Carlos Alcaraz has a similarly dependable first serve, which could put Lopez on the backfoot right from the outset. The 17-year-old also possesses solid groundstrokes off both wings, and can create some impeccable angles from the baseline.
Alcaraz has a more all-round game than his older opponent, but is not a regular feature at ATP events. Lopez has the upper hand over the teen prodigy owing to his experience, although Alcaraz is unlikely to go down without a fight.
Prediction: Feliciano Lopez to win in three sets.