Dasun Lajovic of Serbia, the number 23 seed and world number 26, will play Pedro Martinez of Spain, the world 87, in the third round of the 2021 Australian Open on Friday, February 12, with the match likely to begin at around 1 pm local time. Get the live streaming options of this Dasun Lajovic v Pedro Martinez match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Dasun Lajovic v Pedro Martinez Head to Head
The pair have played twice before in clay court events, in Barcelona in 2018 and again last year in Buenos Aires. Lajovic won both those matches.
Lajovic Impressive in Win against Bublik
The number 26 seed was made to battle all the way in the first round by the veteran Ukrainian qualifier, Sergiy Stakhovsky, the world 201, and it took five sets before he was finally able to shake him off.
That saw him face Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan, a man who had a better record than him on hard courts, and who was heavily tipped to beat him here in Melbourne. However, it was the Serb who took the first set, by virtue of the fact that he engineered two service breaks to one.
Both men then swapped breaks in the second set and, after Lajovic saved a break point, he had five of his own, but could convert none of them, meaning that it went to a tie-break. Again, the Serb failed to convert a set point but, this time, at the second opportunity, he grabbed his chance and clinched the set.
Bublik fought back in the third set, and a single break was enough for him to halve the deficit.
The Kazakh had chances to break the Lajovic serve early in the fourth set, failed to take them, and that ultimately proved to be decisive. The Serb broke him once again in the eighth game and was able to serve out from there.
Martinez in Unfamiliar Territory
Martinez is in unchartered territory in Melbourne, into the third round for the first time, and he has now emulated his best performance in a Grand Slam, which came last year in Paris on his favourite surface of clay.
And he has got here with two, come from behind, four set wins.
He began against the dangerous Yoshida Nishikora of Japan, the world number 58, who took the first set on a tie-break. At that point, though, the Japanese man suffered a sudden loss of form, and he lost the next three sets, gaining just four games in the process.
In the second round Martinez played Emil Ruusovuori of Finland, who had caused a big shock in the first round by knocking out Gael Monfils.
Martinez initially found it tough, and lost the first set, winning just two games. However, he then found his rhythm and range, and won the next two relatively easily.
The fourth set was full of unforced errors from both men, with three service breaks apiece. That meant a tie-break, and although four points went against the serve, the fifth proved decisive when Martinez pounced to clinch the win.
Lajovic v Martinez Prediction and Tip
Although Lajovic really struggled in the first round, his victory over Bublik will give him the confidence that he can progress further in this event. Martinez has done well to get this far, but he has lost to Lajovic in their two previous meetings, and is likely to do so again.
Tip: Lajovic to win: 8/11 (bet365)