Fixture: Jannik Sinner vs Aljaz Bedene
Date: 24 February 2021
Tournament: Open Sud de France 2021
Round: First round (Round of 32)
Venue: Sud de France Arena, Montpellier
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: €262,170
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Jannik Sinner vs Aljaz Bedene preview
Jannik Sinner will look to move past the disappointment of an early exit at the Australian Open when he steps out for his first-round match at the 2021 Open Sud de France on Wednesday.
The Italian youngster is seeded fifth at this year's tournament, and has been drawn in the bottom half of the draw. And first up for him in the French city is Slovenia's fromer top 50 player Aljaz Bedene.
Bedene has been around the tour for quite some time, and has raked in quite a few achievements over the course of his career. The most notable of those are a couple of top 10 wins and a total of four ATP tour finals.
The Slovenian has also maintained a steady graph in recent years, having reached the summit clash of at least one tour event since 2017.
While most of Bedene's early results came on slower surfaces, he has begun to enjoy an increasing amount of success on indoor harcourts as well. The 31-year-old's biggest win in terms of rankings has come at an indoor event (over Stefanos Tsitsipas at the 2019 Rotterdam Open), as has his most recent finals appearance (2019 Moselle Open).
Jannik Sinner vs Aljaz Bedene head-to-head
Aljaz Bedene leads Jannik Sinner in the head-to-head with a 2-1 margin. The duo played each other twice during the 2019 season, with the Slovenian winning both matches in hard-fought fashion.
Sinner, however, managed to pull one back when he scored a win over his opponent during the course of his title run in Melbourne earlier this year.
Jannik Sinner vs Aljaz Bedene prediction
Jannik Sinner enters this contest as the firm favorite. His tough five-set loss at the Australian Open notwithstanding, the youngster has been playing some fine tennis in recent months.
Sinner's powerful game will benefit hugely from the indoor conditions in Montpellier, with his opponents likely to have a hard time winning points on return. A good start will, therefore, be absolutely crucial for Aljaz Bedene in the match.
The Slovenian will need to protect his own serve well and make sure that he stays in touching distance on the scoreboard. Bedene does enjoy playing in quicker conditions himself, but will need to back his groundstrokes since a passive approach is unlikely to reap any rewards.
That said, the Italian has shown immense maturity in his young career so far. Unless Bedene can find a way to take the racket out of his opponent's hands completely, Sinner should find a way to come through this one.
Prediction: Jannik Sinner to win in two tight sets.