The Sardegna Open at Cagliari will kickstart the European clay court season. After the conclusion of the Miami Open 2021, all focus will shift to the red clay as players brace themselves up for some intense action on this ruthless and testing surface.
This is the second edition of the Sardegna Open, with the first one being played in October last year. This was one of the tournaments specially floated to make up for the cancelation of several tour events due to COVID-19.
Tournament: Sardegna Open 2021
Date: April 5-11, 2021
Number of Entrants: 28 (Singles), 16 (Doubles)
Venue: Cagliari, Italy
Surface: Clay Court
Prize Money: €408,800
Defending champion: Laslo Djere
Top Seeds at the Sardegna Open 2021
Sardegna Open 2021: Draw Analysis and Prediction
Top seed Dan Evans has been handed a very tricky opener, as he can potentially lock horns against Lorenzo Musetti in the second round.
To his misery, Evans has lost his last five matches on clay, with the barren run starting in May 2019. Evans’ last main-draw win on the surface came even further back – in 2017, when he defeated Mischa Zverev in Barcelona.
Italian teen Lorenzo Musetti is in smashing form, having reached the semis in Acapulco recently. The Italian also comes into this event with plenty of match practice on clay, having taken part in a string of claycourt Challenger events earlier in the year.
Serbian defending champion Laslo Djere will open his campaign with a first-round match against wild card Federico Gaio. Djere has been in decent touch on clay in 2021, with two quarterfinal appearances (Chile and Argentina).
Qatar Open winner Nikoloz Basilashvili will play a qualifier in the second round after a first round bye. The Georgian is currently on a four-match claycourt losing streak, having lost every match he played on the surface in 2020.
German Jan-Lennard Struff will begin his campaign against Joao Sousa in the first round.
Semifinal prediction: Lorenzo Musetti vs Nikoloz Basilashvili
It is a well-known fact that Taylor Fritz doesn’t dwell well on Clay. And hence his participation comes as a surprise and the tournament will be a good practice for him on the slower surface.
The American has received a bye in the first round by virtue of his seeding. And in the second round, he has been drawn to face one of Jiri Vesely or Andrej Martin.
7th seed Guido Pella begins his Sardegna Open campaign against Egor Gerasimov. This promises to be a close contest between two closely-matched players, but Pella might have a slight edge given his claycourt credentials.
Third seed Lorenzo Sonego is one to lookout for in the bottom half. He has a good topsin and could be lethal on clay. He has been given a first round bye and will play the winner of Gilles Simon and Stefano Travaglia.
Last year’s runner-up and former French Open semifinalist Marco Cecchinato will lock horns against Thomas Fabbiano in the first round. Even though Fabbiano is a solid claycourter, Cecchinato’s experience is likely to see him through this fixture.
Semifinal prediction: Lorenzo Sonego vs Taylor Fritz
Lakshya Chopra is an aspiring sports writer who has covered various sports in the last few years. An engineer by profession, his passion for sports has driven him closer to the media industry with each passing day. He has been working at FirstSportz for over two years and initially headed the tennis team for two full seasons. Having written almost 2500 articles for the organization, he is currently the content manager of the NFL section. From Rafael Nadal's prime to Novak Djokovic's rise to Tom Brady's magical comebacks, he has seen it all.
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