Dusan Lajovic vs Dennis Novak - 2021 Open Sud de France Round of 16
Thursday February 25th, 2021 / TBD
TV: ESPN (US), Amazon Prime (UK) Stream live sports and exclusive originals on ESPN+. Sign up now!
Third seeded Dusan Lajovic of Serbia faces unseeded Dennis Novak of Austria in the Round of 16 at the 2021 Open Sud de France. The match is scheduled to be played on Thursday February 25th, 2021 at a time yet to be determined. They have played once before with Lajovic winning on that occasion, however it was on clay.
Dusan Lajovic is currently ranked #27 in the world and is typically an extremely solid player, however his 2021 season has gotten off to a mixed start. He lost both of his matches as Serbia failed to retain their ATP Cup title but then had a good run at the Australian Open, reaching the Fourth Round before losing to Alexander Zverev. He is an extremely consistent baseline player that loves to be aggressive, especially with his forehand. He is primarily clay court player but is not completely lost on this surface. With his current form he will be a very dangerous opponent here and is the favorite heading into this match.
Like his opponent, Dennis Novak is a powerful baseliner. Currently ranked #102, he is a much better player than his ranking suggests, with some big wins in his career. However, he has struggled mightily with fitness and consistency. He overcame Gilles Simon in a marathon First Round encounter, eventually winning in three thrilling sets. It was a strong performance from Novak, especially after losing the second set 6-1 and regrouping to win. He enters this match as the underdog but if fatigue is not an issue he certainly has the game to spring the upset. He will be aiming to use his powerful serve and groundstrokes to dictate play from the baseline, something that may be difficult to do against Lajovic's strong defense.
I expect this to be a long match, potentially going to three sets. Both men are capable of very good tennis but also can suffer from mental lapses at times. It really can go either way but I am going with Lajovic to edge it in the end. He is very experienced and is typically more mentally solid than Novak so I think he will have just enough to pull through.