87th-ranked Ilya Ivashka has Korea’s Soon-woo Kwon as his opponent in the quarterfinal of the 2021 Eastbourne International on Thursday, June 24. Get the live streaming options of this Ilya Ivashka v Soon-woo Kwon match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Ilya Ivashka v Soon-woo Kwon Head to Head
It’s 2-0 in favour of Ivashka in main draws of events while Kwon has won a qualifier in Atlanta. Of the three matches, one was played earlier this year when Ivashka needed three tie-breakers to shade Kwon in Miami.
Ivashka Moves Past Popyrin
Before coming into this tournament, Ivashka had won just two main draw matches on grass in his career. Even this season as he tried to add to that tally, Ivashka qualified to feature at both, the Stuttgart Open and Halle Open but fell in the opening round of both those competitions.
It has become third time lucky at Eastbourne.
Again, Ivashka needed to make it through the qualifiers to enter main draw but once he had done that, the 87th-ranked Ivashka has carved out back to back victories. First he defeated Alastair Gray in straight sets before getting past Alexei Popyrin in the second.
Ivashka was stretched to the third set and needed two hours and 23 minutes but in the end, came through 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-3 to set up this meeting with Kwon.
And with Kwon himself having never improved past his career-best ranking of 69th in the world, Ivashka will give himself a shot at making it to the semifinals.
Kwon’s Fortunes Soar Out of the Blue
He is in the quarterfinal of an ATP event played on grass but if that wasn’t good enough, the manner in which he’s got there makes for an interesting story.
For starters, Kwon had never won a match on grass before this. In fact this was his first grass court ATP tournament this year, having featured in a Challenger last week and did nothing remarkable.
Here in Eastbourne, his lacklustre form continued as he went down to Alastair Gray in the qualifiers but made the main draw as a lucky loser. What made it even more bizarre is for a player with that kind of background on grass, Kwon got a bye into the second round because he had replaced Nikoloz Basilashvili in the tournament and the Georgian himself had an opening bye.
In the second round against Marton Fucsovics, Kwon got no break-points in the first set, saved three of his own before edging his opponent out in the tie-breaker. He lost the second tie-breaker before running away with the match in the final set to clinch a stunning quarterfinal place.
Can his fairy-tale continue?
Ivashka v Kwon Prediction and Tip
Ivashka is a favourite at 4/7 but Kwon’s fairy-tale story would have given him some motivation to put up a decent fight. Could see a fighting three-setter here.