Matteo Berrettini vs Ergi Kirkin - 2021 Antalya Open First Round
Thursday January 7th, 2021
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The 2021 ATP Calendar is underway and the first tournament is the ATP 250 event here in Antalya, Turkey. Formerly played on grass it was switched to hard courts in 2019 and has a competitive field this year. Number one seeded Italian Matteo Berrettini plays the young local Wild Card Ergi Kirkin. This match looks like a routine match on paper but does the young Turk have a surprise up his sleeve?
Matteo Berrettini had a poor 2020 seasons by his lofty standards. He was not able to replicate the success he had in 2019 and had a string of poor results throughout last year with a few good results scattered in between including a run to the Round of 16 at the US Open. While he remains one of the most talented players on tour, he has not taken the expected strides in his mental game that will be required for him to truly compete with the world's best and be a threat in the big tournaments. All that being said, he is still a top 10 player and should be treated as such. He possesses one of the biggest forehands in the men's game and will be looking to use that along with his serve to dominate the youngster who is sure to nervous, making his ATP debut.
Ergi Kirkin is a 21 year old Turkish player who has a ranking of 446. He enters this tournament as a Wild Card, and will be hoping to put forward a good performance in his debut at this level. However, he could not have asked for a tougher First Round opponent, and will have to play the match of his life to even make this competitive. He has shown to be a talented player, with two ITF titles to his name and ended 2020 on a 10 match winning streak. He is a solid all around player but currently lacks the weapons necessary to compete at this level.
Matteo Berrettini should have a straightforward time here, and win this match in straight sets. His fitness is a big question mark as he struggled with it in 2020 but even if he is not at his best physically he is still talented enough to breeze through this First Round encounter. He has added motivation to have a big 2021 as the ATP Finals are in Italy so expect his to contend here.