World number 28 Aslan Karatsev will face the 98th-ranked Gianluca Mager in the quarterfinal of the 2021 Serbia Open on Friday, April 23. Get the live streaming options of this Aslan Karatsev v Gianluca Mager match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Aslan Karatsev v Gianluca Mager Head to Head
This will be their second match at the highest level having faced off earlier at the Australian Open played this year. Karatsev had won that first round match in straight sets.
They had also met on the clay courts of the Como Challenger where Mager had cruised to a win in 2018.
Karatsev Struggles against Bedene
Karatsev has shown to be a solid player on hard court surfaces but his record on clay isn’t too bad either. So it wasn’t too much of a surprise when he went into his opening match here against Aljaz Bedene as a 2/5 favourite to clinch it.
What turned out to be a surprise was the manner in which he claimed that win.
The Russian looked to have overcome a slow start after overturning a break of serve in the third game by breaking back twice and racing to a 5-2 lead. And then off his second set-point, he clinched the opening set.
Things looked to be headed in a similar direction as Karatsev continued to hold serve in the second set with ease while Bedene needed to save three break-points to stay in the encounter. Out of the blue, however, Bedene broke Karatsev in the eighth and the 10th game to level things out.
Bedene then went 3-1 up in the third and it needed Karatsev to dig deep, break back, save a match-point in the 11th before edging him out in the tie-breaker that followed.
Can Karatsev now stave off the Mager challenge?
Mager Sends Popyrin Packing
Since Mager lost to Karatsev in the aforementioned Australian Open first round encounter, he hasn’t played a single match on hard court surfaces again. He moved to the clay courts of Cordoba Open and went on to feature in Buenos Aires and Santiago after that.
Unfortunately he didn’t start off too well there, losing three of the four matches across those three competitions.
It was when he scaled back, played on the Challenger circuit and got some of his form back that Mager’s results started going his way. A quarterfinal at Zadar Challenger was followed by a title victory at Marbella Challenger, before he made it to the second round of Marbella Open.
And here, as a qualifier, he has already shocked Laslo Djere and Alexei Popyrin but most importantly, both of them in straight sets to gallop into the last eight stage.
Can he now take the big scalp of Karatsev in this one?
Karatsev v Mager Prediction and Tip
Karatsev starts off as a favourite on expected lines but Mager’s solid clay court showing last few weeks make him a consideration in this one. At 7/4, the odds are tempting for his win, with a 4/6 for his winning a set to be a banker.
Tip: Mager to win a set – Yes: 4/6 (bet365)