Fixture: (1) Novak Djokovic vs Kwon Soon-woo
Date: 21 April 2021
Tournament: Serbia Open 2021
Round: Second round (Round of 16)
Venue: Barcelona, Spain
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Red Clay
Prize money: US$235,238
Match timing: Not before 2.30 pm local time, 6 pm
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Novak Djokovic vs Kwon Soon-woo preview
Top seed and two-time former champion Novak Djokovic is set to open his 2021 Serbia Open campaign with a second-round encounter against Kwon Soon-woo on Wednesday.
After producing a masterful performance to beat Jannik Sinner in the second round of last week's Monte Carlo Masters, Djokovic suffered a surprising straight-sets defeat to Dan Evans in the third round. The Serb will enter his home-town event in Belgrade looking to move past the disappointment of that early exit.
Soon-woo, on his part, has amassed quite a few match wins in 2021. He won the Biella 2 Challenger back in February, while also reaching the quarterfinals of ATP events in Singapore and Andalucia.
The 23-year-old has also made a strong start to his campaign here in Belgrade. Kwon scored a convincing 6-3, 7-5 win over Roberto Caraballes Baena in the first round, and will be feeling confident about his game.
Novak Djokovic vs Kwon Soon-woo head-to-head
This is set to be the first career meeting between Novak Djokovic and Kwon Soon-woo, so their current head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Novak Djokovic vs Kwon Soon-woo prediction
Novak Djokovic will enter this contest as a heavy favorite, despite his recent loss at the Monte Carlo Masters. The World No. 1 highlighted the difficult playing conditions and Evans' consistent game as factors in his defeat, and would be determined to ensure he puts in a better showing this week.
In Kwon Soon-woo, Djokovic faces another solid all-court player. The Korean has shown a knack for scoring wins over big names; he has beaten the likes of Milos Raonic and Richard Gasquet in the past. That said, he will have his work cut out against Djokovic on Wednesday.
The Serb will step out looking to take control of the proceedings with his heavy groundstrokes and efficient movement. And if he is able to find his footing early, Djokovic is likely to walk away with a relatively easy win here.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic to win in straight sets.