Fixture: (1) Alexander Zverev vs Ilya Ivashka
Date: 30 April 2021
Tournament: BMW Open 2021
Venue: Munich, Germany
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €419,470
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Alexander Zverev vs Ilya Ivashka preview
World No. 7 Alexander Zverev will take on Belarus' Ilya Ivashka in the quarterfinals of the BMW Open on Friday.
Zverev began his year in respectable fashion, reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open - where he lost to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in four sets. The 23-year-old then played some solid tennis at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel, beating arch-rival Stefanos Tsitsipas to win the title.
However, Zverev has suffered early exits at both of his last two tournaments - the Miami Masters and the Monte Carlo Masters. Needless to say, the German will be looking to make amends in his home country this week.
Zverev was in complete control of his Munich opener against Ricardas Berankis on Wednesday. He bagged close to 50% of his return points in what was a straightforward victory.
Ilya Ivashka, on his part, prefers playing more on quick surfaces than on clay. That said, the Belarusian has enjoyed a good run on the dirt this year.
Ivashka reached the quarterfinals at the Andalucia Open a couple of weeks ago, where he lost to Jaume Munar in three sets. He then took a set off 'King of Clay' Rafael Nadal in the Barcelona Open second round, before eventually succumbing to a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 loss.
Ivashka has seemingly carried his rich vein of form into the 2021 edition of the BMW Open. The Belarusian entered the main draw as a qualifier, but has managed to beat Emil Ruusuvuori and Mackenzie McDonald to reach his second claycourt quarterfinal in the last three weeks.
Alexander Zverev vs Ilya Ivashka head-to-head
The quarterfinal match in Munich will be the first-ever career meeting between Alexander Zverev and Ilya Ivashka, so the head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Alexander Zverev vs Ilya Ivashka prediction
Alexander Zverev is capable of hammering high and deep forehands while also flattening out his backhand to finish points quickly. And while he does struggle to maintain his aggression at times, the fact that the 23-year-old is incredibly balanced off both wings often bails him out of trouble on clay.
Ilya Ivashka, meanwhile, has flat and powerful groundstrokes that give him a lot of attacking options from inside the baseline. The Belarusian can strike with incredible precision and pace off his forehand, and can also win a fair few free points on the back of his potent first serve.
Ivashka's style of play could make it a tough outing for Zverev, who often finds it difficult to push back big hitters on clay. That said, Ivashka doesn't have quite as much variety as Zverev does, which might just give the German a slight edge in this match-up.
Prediction: Alexander Zverev to win in three sets.