Frenchmen Arthur Rinderknech and Benjamin Bonzi will clash in the final of the 2021 Istanbul Challenger with the match to be played on Sunday, January 24. The match will begin at around 10.30 am BST or 4.30 am Eastern time. Get the live streaming options of this Arthur Rinderknech v Benjamin Bonzi match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Arthur Rinderknech v Benjamin Bonzi Head to Head
This will be the first match between the 178th-ranked Rinderknech and Bonzi, who is a mere 14 places ahead of him at any level.
Rinderknech’s on a Roll
Despite being ranked that low on the circuit – he is 178th on the ATP Rankings – Rinderknech has had a good start to the season and would be hoping to push further u the rankings. He started off the season with a couple of wins at the Australian Open qualifiers before going down to Michael Mmoh in the final qualification round.
It’s however, here, in Istanbul, where things have finally come to head for the Frenchman, who needed to win a couple of qualifiers yet again to make it to the main draw before defeating four opponents to enter the title-decider.
After having won two Challenger titles in the severely-curtailed previous season, Rinderknech came through against Prajnesh Gunneswaran in the first round after his Indian opponent retired due to an injury, and followed it up with wins over the much-favoured Brandon Nakashima and Marc-Andrea Huesler.
In the semifinal, he was a 7-5, 6-4 winner over Jozef Kovalik to set this final up as he hunts for his third title at this level.
Bonzi Overturns Australian Open Disappointment
Ranked 164th in the world, this is Bonzi’s career-best and he would have hoped to have done better than lose in the first qualifying round at the Australian Open earlier this month. Bonzi had gone into that encounter against Quentin Halys as a favourite but crashed out in straight sets.
Which is why, coming into this opening Challenger tournament of the season as an unseeded player, not too many would have given him a chance at making the final.
As it turned out, Bonzi beat two match favourites in the first two rounds here – Blaz Rola and Lorenzo Musetti – before needing three sets against fellow Frenchman Antoine Hoang in the quarterfinals.
He was stretched in the first set of his semifinal by Egyptian veteran Mohamed Safwat but came through in straight sets to make it to the final. This will be his third Challenger final, and Bonzi will now be gunning for his first ever title at this level.
Rinderknech v Bonzi Prediction and Tip
Rinderknech starts off as a favourite with bet365 offering 3/5 for his victory as opposed to Bonzi who is 6/5 to win this. There seems to be value in this being a keenly contested final given all that’s happened in the past and we might be looking at a three-setter here with both players having done that once before in this tournament.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 6/4 (bet365)