Kevin Anderson vs. Feliciano Lopez - 2021 Great Ocean Road Open First Round
Monday, February 1 2021
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Feliciano Lopez begins his 2021 tennis campaign as he meets Kevin Anderson in the first round of the 2021 Great Ocean Road Open. Will Lopez come out performing superbly as we saw him do towards the end of the 2020 season, or will Kevin Anderson be able to get back to his prime days and get the better of the Spaniard?
Feliciano Lopez, although now in his 40s, is still showing us that age does not matter as long as you keep your body and mindset healthy. Lopez still has an amazing game, and he has been able to beat some of the best players on the tour, and even challenge the likes of Rafael Nadal in tight matches such as at the 2020 Paris Masters 1000 towards the end of last year. What really hurts his opponents his the fact that Lopez is both a lefty, and a one-hander on his backhand. This means he can focus his shots on the weaker side of his opponents from both his forehand and backhand with ease. Lopez also has a massive serve. Will Lopez come out here strongly, and perhaps make it to the later rounds to gain some solid minutes under his belt before the Australian Open?
Kevin Anderson struggled a lot throughout 2020 with yet more knee injury concerns, but this did not prevent him from causing problems to some of the biggest players in the world, even against Daniil Medvedev at the ATP 500 Vienna Open. Anderson, when on top of his game, is so hard to beat, and he can end points so quickly with his massive serve. But in rallies, at this stage of his career where his injuries have ensured he’s fallen down drastically in the rankings, he is not able to outlast opponents as much as he used to do. Will something change in 2021, or will Anderson’s struggles continue?
This is going to be the fifth meeting between both players, with Kevin Anderson leading the head to head 4-0. Both players can win this match, but when it comes to who I believe is more physically ready for this encounter, I believe that Feliciano Lopez’s lefty serve and one-handed backhand will be too much for Anderson who will get tired of continuously moving around the courts. Lopez may be much older, but he has still got the game to compete with some of the best in the world. I expect a tight match, but in the end Feliciano Lopez will come out on top and gain some momentum before the start of the Australian Open.