Tournament: 2021 US Open
Round: First round (Round of 128)
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $40,560,000
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN/ESPN 2 | UK - Amazon Prime Video | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Sebastian Korda vs Nikoloz Basilashvili preview
American Sebastian Korda faces a tricky test in the shape of World No. 39 Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first round of the 2021 US Open.
Korda, ranked 45 in the world, will be making just his second main draw appearance at his home Slam. The 21-year-old fell in four sets to Denis Shapovalov in the first round last year.
However, the American has improved by leaps and bounds since then. He finished as the runner-up in the Delray Beach Open this year and won his first tour title at the Emilia-Romagna Open in May.
The American suffered an opening-round exit at Roland Garros but made amends at Wimbledon, where he was a few points away from making the quarterfinals.
Korda has played only four matches in the North American hardcourt swing. The American registered wins over Vasek Pospisil and Laslo Djere but suffered losses to Jannik Sinner and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Nikoloz Basilashvili also has a 2-2 win-loss record during this period. The Georgian made it to the third round of the Toronto Masters, beating Jenson Brooksby and Alex de Minaur on the way. He also gave Hubert Hurkacz a tough fight before succumbing in three tight sets.
Basilashvili then fell at the first hurdle in Cincinnati, losing to Fabio Fognini in straight sets.
The 29-year-old has had a topsy-turvy season so far, winning titles in Doha and Munich but suffering early exits at the Majors. Basilashvili even beat Roger Federer and Casper Ruud during his title wins.
However, the World No. 39 lost in the first round of the Australian Open as well as Wimbledon. He fell in the second round at Roland Garros.
Sebastian Korda vs Nikoloz Basilashvili head-to-head
Sebastian Korda and Nikoloz Basilashvili have never faced each other on tour before, which is why their head-to-head stands at 0-0.
Sebastian Korda vs Nikoloz Basilashvili prediction
This promises to be a cracking contest between two aggressive players. Korda and Basilashvili both possess devastating groundstrokes, but it is the American who has more consistency and accuracy.
Basilashvili has the better backhand of the two players, but the Georgian might not be able to bring it into play against Korda, who actively looks to take charge of rallies and end them at the first opportunity. Basilashvili's defense is not the best and Korda could make him pay.
The 21-year-old will also enjoy the lion's share of support at his home Slam, which could help come through this tricky opening-round fixture.
Prediction: Sebastian Korda to win in four sets.