Fixture: Sebastian Korda vs (WC) Andreas Seppi
Date: 25 May 2021
Tournament: Emilia-Romagna Open 2021
Round: First round (Round of 32)
Venue: Parma, Italy
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €480,000
Match timing: Approx. 12 pm local time, 10 am GMT, 6 am EST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Sebastian Korda vs Andreas Seppi preview
Andreas Seppi, 37, was once ranked as high as No. 18 in the world, but the Italian wildcard's best days are well behind him.
Seppi dropped 11 of his last 15 competitive matches to end the 2020 season, but he has enjoyed a strong start to 2021, amassing a 10-4 win-loss record on the Challenger tour. However, his clash with Korda in Parma will be just his second ATP tour-level match of the year.
Sebastian Korda, son of former Australian Open champion Petr Korda, has made quite a splash this year. The 20-year-old American reached the final at Delray Beach, where he lost to Hubert Hurkacz, and then made a quarterfinal run at the Miami Masters, beating Fabio Fognini, Aslan Karatsev and Diego Schwartzman before losing to World No. 7 Andrey Rublev.
However, Korda has had a terrible clay season thus far, losing four of his five matches on the surface.
Sebastian Korda vs Andreas Seppi head-to-head
Sebastian Korda leads Andreas Seppi 1-0 in their head-to-head. The two squared off last year at Roland Garros, with the American winning in four sets.
Korda, playing in the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career, made an emphatic run to the second week in Paris, eventually losing to Rafael Nadal in the fourth round.
Sebastian Korda vs Andreas Seppi prediction
Sebastian Korda worked extensively with his father as well as the likes of Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi to improve his game before kicking off the 2021 season and that has clearly paid off.
The American has been striking his forehand cleanly all year while also making improvements to his court positioning and movement. Against Seppi, he will look to take charge of rallies using his powerful groundstrokes.
Seppi, on the other hand, does not possess the same firepower as his younger opponent, but what he does have is a wealth of experience on the professional circuit. A solid baseliner, Seppi will look to utilise his flat forehand and accurate first serve to trouble Korda.
The Italian will also attempt to prolong the baseline rallies and draw unforced errors from the American's racquet. Given Korda's struggles on the surface this year, it would not be surprising to see Seppi pull through.
Prediction: Andreas Seppi to win in three sets.