World number 37 Jan-Lennard Struff should not have too much of a trouble in his first round match against Pavel Kotov whom he meets at the 2021 ATP Antalya on Friday, January 8. The match begins at 10 am local time. Get the live streaming options of this Jan-Lennard Struff v Pavel Kotov match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Jan-Lennard Struff v Pavel Kotov Head to Head
This will be the first time ever that Struff takes on his 269th-ranked opponent Kotov in a competitive match.
Struff’s Strong Season Tapered off Towards the End
In what was one of his best season showing, Germany’s Struff looked to have resumed the post-pandemic phase of the tour last season with a bang.
He first made it all the way to the quarterfinal at the Cincinnati Masters, defeating Alex De Minaur, Denis Shapovalov and David Goffin on the way before going down to Novak Djokovic. And he followed that up with a third round at the US Open, again falling to the world number one.
Struff’s form took a severe beating after that as he won just three matches spread across eight tournaments following the US Open. And in none of the tournaments did he make it past the second round, but more vitally some of those defeats came at the hands of less pedigreed opponents.
At the Rome Masters, he fell to Federico Coria, who had started the match with odds of 8/3 for him, and then followed it up with losses to Oscar Otte, Yoshihito Nishioka and Vasek Pospisil.
The German world number 37 will look to shrug that off and start the new season on a more positive note against an opponent ranked nearly 230 players behind him.
Kotov Comes Through the Qualifiers Easily
There were no hiccups for Kotov in either of the qualifying round matches he won. In the first, he was aided by the retirement of Umut Akkoyun before crushing Harri Haeliovaara in the second in straight sets as well.
However, he had gone into both matches as an overwhelming favourite anyway; this time around he starts off as a distant second favourite at 7/2 to surprise his much more fancied and experienced opponent.
Kotov has only recently begun to play at the Challengers circuit, and he spent a lot of his time last season trying to qualify for those tournaments. A couple of third round appearances at Pau and Nur-Sultan helped him immensely and with indoor hard court surfaces right down his alley, Kotov shouldn’t have too many issues adjusting to the courts here.
Can he go on to surprise Struff though?
Struff v Kotov Prediction and Tip
While Struff is a favourite here, there is every chance of Kotov pushing his opponent thanks to his new-found confidence. We could see a three-setter here, with Kotov expected to win a set.
Tip: Kotov to win a set: 11/8 (bet365)