Hubert Hurkacz vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina - 2021 Open Sud de France Round of 16
Thursday February 25th, 2021 / TBD
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Fourth seeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland faces Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain in the Round of 16 at the 2021 Open Sud de France event in Montpellier. They have played once before with Davidovich Fokina winning on that occasion. Can he extend his lead in the head to head series or will Hurkacz even it at one win apiece?
Hubert Hurkacz is currently ranked #30 in the world and is considered to be one of the brightest young talents in the game today. However, he has struggled to find consistent results on the ATP Tour of late, with an even record of great performances and disappointing ones. After a bright start to the year reaching the Quarter-Finals in Adelaide, he shockingly lost to Mikael Ymer of Sweeden in the First Round at the Australian Open. When he is in form, he is very difficult to beat, with a huge serve and booming groundstrokes. He enters this match as the favorite on paper, but Davidovich Fokina has exactly the type of game to throw Hurkacz off with all his variety. He will have to be at his best here to overcome a difficult challenge.
Like his opponent, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina is an extremely talented player but struggles to produce consistent results. Currently ranked #56, he is an extremely quick mover and strikes the ball very well from both sides of the court. However, his main strength is his variety. He is well-known for his tendency to utilize the drop-shot often, and plays it extremely well. This tactic will be particularly effective against Hurkacz who is not a great mover. If the Spaniard can keep his focus throughout the match and return well, he has a very good shot at causing the upset. He is the underdog here but not by much.
I expect this to be an extremely close match. While Hurkacz is the favorite on paper, this is a very difficult matchup for him. He will struggle to cope with his opponent's variety and it will be a battle. It is perhaps too close to call, but I expect Hurkacz to eventually figure it out and get the win in three very tough sets.