Fixture: Alex de Minaur vs Aslan Karatsev
Date: 11 November 2020
Tournament: Sofia Open 2020
Round: Second round (Round of 16)
Venue: Sofia, Bulgaria
Category: ATP 250 Series
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: €325,615
Match timing: Approx. 2 pm local time, 5.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Alex de Minaur vs Aslan Karatsev preview
Australia's Alex de Minaur goes into the 2020 Sofia Open as the third seed, with a strong chance of winning his fourth career singles trophy. The 21-year-old has made seven singles finals so far, all on hardcourts, and would be fancying his chances of making a similar run this week given the relatively weak draw.
De Minaur comes into Sofia on the back of a runner-up finish at the European Open followed by a Round of 16 appearance at the Paris Masters. He also made it to the quarter-finals of the US Open earlier this year.
After a first-round bye at Sofia, De Minaur faces Russia's Aslan Karatsev in his tournament opener.
Karatsev, the World No. 114, has had an impressive tournament in the Bulgarian capital so far. He hasn't lost a single set in three matches at the event, which includes two qualifying encounters.
The 27-year-old looked in great touch against Japan's Taro Daniel in the first round, coming away with a 7-6(2), 6-1 win. That said, it must be noted that Daniel was also a qualifier at the tournament, and stands one spot behind Karatsev in the ATP rankings.
Alex de Minaur vs Aslan Karatsev head-to-head
Alex de Minaur and Aslan Karatsev have not met on tour so far. This will be their first encounter, so the head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Alex de Minaur vs Aslan Karatsev prediction
Alex de Minaur will be confident of making it past Aslan Karatsev on Wednesday, particularly given the rich vein of form he has been in the last few weeks. The Australian is ranked 25th in the world and has a decent win-loss ratio of 12-7 on hardcourts this year.
But De Minaur is also playing doubles at the tournament, and he has played a fair few matches over the last one month, which might bring in the fatigue factor. He would be hoping that his movement and flexibility - two of his strongest assets - are not affected by his recent workload.
Karatsev on his part will look to use his aggressive and powerful playing style to make life difficult for the Australian. But given the Russian's lack of experience at this level, his task will not be easy.
Prediction: Alex de Minaur to win in straight sets.