Yasatuka Uchiyama vs. Aljaz Bedene - 2021 Great Ocean Road Open First Round
Monday, February 1 2021
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Aljaz Bedene looks to refind the form he had at the early stages of the 2020 season as he begins his 2021 ATP Tour campaign here at the Great Ocean Road Open against Yasutaka Uchiyama. Will Bedene be able to show us the same level which saw him beat the likes of Tsitsipas last year, or will he be knocked out in the first round?
Aljaz Bedene is a very solid player, especially on hard courts, as he is able to move his opponents around quite easily when playing from the baseline. Bedene has had some strong victories under his belt in the past, such as against Stefanos Tsitsipas in early 2020. Bedene has not had the same luck as of recently, however, since the end of the 2020 Antwerp Open, Bedene has been putting in the work behind closed doors to come out strongly in 2021 and get some momentum under his belt before the 2021 Australian Open. Will Bedene make a run for the title here in Australia, or will he be knocked out in the first round?
Yasutaka Uchiyama is not a very well known player on the ATP Tour, but rather the Challenger Tour. Uchiyama might not be highly known, but this does not mean we should take him lightly. Uchiyama is a very fast mover around the court, which allows him to make his opponents play an extra ball, which allows his chances of winning points off of unforced errors rise. Uchiyama and his fast movement around the court will still have to hope for a shocking performance from any of his opponents on the ATP Tour, as his game still needs to evolve if he wants to compete in these ATP 250 tournaments.
This is going to be the first meeting between both players. Although this can become a tight match as Uchiyama might put on a great showing, we have seen Bedene succeed in these smaller hard court tournaments, and I am sure he will want to begin his year strongly and he will be very eager to put it all down in order to get some solid minutes under his belt before the Australian Open. I expect perhaps a 3 set match, with Uchiyama showing some signs of strong play, but Bedene should come out victorious.