Dusan Lajovic, the number three seed from Serbia will face Austria’s Dennis Novak in the second round of the 2021 ATP Montpellier Open on Thursday, February 25. The match timings will be confirmed upon the release of the order of play. Get the live streaming options of this Dusan Lajovic v Dennis Novak match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Dusan Lajovic v Dennis Novak Head to Head
Lajovic won the pair’s only meeting on the clay courts of Kitzbuhel in 2018, beating the Austrian in his own backyard in straight sets.
Lajovic is All Evens in 2021
Three wins, three defeats, reads Dusan Lajovic’s self-improvement grid for the 2021 season. The Serbian no.2 could not keep up his side of the bargain as his country’s attempt to retain the ATP Cup came to an end. Lajovic lost both of his singles matches in the group stage, and even with Djokovic at the helm, they were foiled by Canada and Germany.
But remarkably, Lajovic played some of his best tennis at the year’s first Grand Slam, reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open for the very first time. To put this achievement on the microscope, it was only the second time he had made the second week of a Major, seven years on from his his first at the 2014 French Open.
It was treacherous path to the fourth round, where Lajovic was just one match away from a quarterfinal meeting against Djokovic. Having been pushed to five sets in his opening match by Sergiy Stakhovsky, Lajovic then overcame Alexander Bublik and Pedro Martinez to earn his three match wins for the season. He was floored by the booming first serve of Alexander Zverev in a very tight straight sets defeat thereafter.
In making his debut in Montpellier, Lajovic has broken a familiar tradition of his own. The world no.27 tends to oscillate the world and play in the South American Golden Swing in recent seasons. Will he succumb to the power of Austria’s world no.102?
Novak Tops Simon in Opener
Dennis Novak outlasted Gilles Simon in a marathon three-set contest that also involved a marathon 45-shot rally. Neither player looked comfortable holding serve in the early exchanges. Both players traded a pair of service breaks to move into a tiebreak. The Austrian overcame a 2-5 deficit to clinch the opener 7-5 in the breaker.
There was an emphatic response by Simon in the second set as Novak struggled to win points on his second serve. It felt like Novak gave in the moment he lost out to one brutal rally to start the second set. At 1-1, 40-all, Simon won the aforementioned 45-shot rally by producing a Djokovic-esque backhand down the line winner. It left the Austrian gasping for breath.
However, the world no.102 regrouped after losing the second set 6-1. He broke serve at the tail end of the third set and served out just his second match win of the season. His very first came in the ATP Cup upset when he defeated Fabio Fognini of Italy.
Lajovic v Novak Prediction and Tip
Lajovic won their only previous encounter quite handily in Kitzbuhel. But we expect this to be a close affair and a potential upset. Novak has improved steadily in recent seasons and is a better all-court player than two years ago.
Tip: Novak to win in three sets: 3/1 (bet365)