The 26th-ranked Casper Ruud will be up against Italian Gianluca Mager, ranked 91st in the world in the second round of the 2021 Andalucia Open on Thursday, April 8. Get the live streaming options of this Casper Ruud v Gianluca Mager match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Casper Ruud v Gianluca Mager Head to Head
Their only previous outing came on the clay courts of Rio de Janeiro last season and Mager had won that first round encounter in two difficult sets.
Slow Start for Ruud
It’s not like Ruud has lost a lot of matches to kick-start this season but the fact is we are in the fourth month of the year and the Norwegian player has participated in only three tournaments so far. All of them came on the hard court surfaces, and Ruud did surprise a few with his showing at the Australian Open.
Ruud, who won his maiden ATP title last year on the clay court of Buenos Aires, and has in general done rather well on that surface, performed strongly at the season’s first Grand Slam to reach fourth round. Wins over Jordan Thompson, Tommy Paul and Radu Albot set up a meeting with Andrey Rublev in the round of 16 and while he did push the Russian in the second set, Ruud had to retire from the match after falling two sets down with an abdominal injury.
That injury was one of the reasons he didn’t play for another month and when he returned, he won a couple of rounds at the Acapulco Open before withdrawing from the competition before his quarterfinal match against Alexander Zverev.
The world number 26 will now hope to feel at home on the clay courts of Marbella as he looks to rebuild his season and up against him is a player who prefers this surface as much too.
Mager Liking Life in Marbella
Just before the start of this competition in Marbella, there was a warmup, Challenger event which was held at the same venue and the 91st-ranked Mager had come away the winning that title. He had won five matches in a row to clinch the title which included a win in the final against Jaume Munar.
And he made it six wins in a row when he came away a winner against Mikhail Kukushkin in the first round of this ATP event.
The in-form Mager overcame Kukushkin 7-5, 6-3 in nearly an hour and a half to advance to the second. He was broken just once in the entire match, and in turn dished out three breaks of serve to complete the victory.
Can he continue his winning run against a player who hasn’t played a lot of tennis season and none on clay so far.
Ruud v Mager Prediction and Tip
It’s interesting to note that Mager is a second-favourite according to the bookmakers, with bet365 offering 6/4 for his win. We think those are good odds for a player in this kind of form against one who hasn’t played too much this year. A less risky punt is Mager to win a set.
Tip: Mager to win a set – Yes: 4/7 (bet365)