Some of the first round action at the 2021 Bastad Open will see World No. 119 Pedro Sousa of Portugal take on 105th-ranked Arthur Rinderknech of France and Federico Coria face Francisco Cerundolo in an all-Argentine battle. Get the live streaming options along the predictions, preview and head to head for these matches along with Pedro Martinez v Dennis Novak and Emil Ruusuvuori v Mikael Ymer.
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Pedro Sousa v Arthur Rinderknech Preview
2020 Argentina Open finalist Pedro Sousa comes to Bastad with a woeful 2-6 record in 2021. The 33-year-old Portuguese, whose only two wins this season came against Li Tu at Melbourne-2 and Leonardo Mayer in Santiago, has struggled on the Challenger tour as well, reaching just one quarterfinal this year.
A clay court specialist, Sousa has a 14-18 record on the surface, and 15 of his 17 Challenger and Futures titles have come on clay. On the tour, he reached his maiden career final in Buenos Aires last year after receiving a walkover from Diego Schwartzman in the semifinals. He was eventually beaten in the final by Casper Ruud.
Sousa’s only previous appearance at Bastad was in 2018, when he defeated Radu Albot in the first round but was beaten by Fernando Verdasco in the next.
Facing Sousa in the first round will be 25-year-old Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech who scored back-to-back straight set wins on Sunday and Monday to qualify for the main draw.
The 6’5″ Rinderknech defeated Brazil’s Oscar Jose Gutierrez 6-4, 7-5 in the first qualifying round and Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano 6-3, 6-2 in the second qualifying round on Monday.
Rinderknech is 6-7 this year and that includes runs to two quarterfinals, in Marseille and Lyon. He also qualified for the Wimbledon this year, only to lose to Oscar Otte in a marathon five-setter, which saw the German take the deciding set 13-12.
Sousa v Rinderknech Tip
Three sets in the match: 6/4 (bet365)
Federico Coria v Francisco Cerundolo Preview
Argentina’s Federico Coria has a 9-12 overall record this year and he is 8-8 on clay. The 29-year-old, who was a semifinalist in Cordoba and a quarterfinalist at Belgrade-2, has featured in a number of Challenger events over the past two months, winning his second Challenger title in Prostejov and finishing runner-up in Milan and Salzburg.
Yet to reach a tour-level final, the younger brother of Guillermo Coria achieved his career-high ranking of 77 this week. Coria’s biggest win this year came against Benoit Paire in the quarterfinal in Cordoba. He also beat Feliciano Lopez to reach the second round of the French Open, only to be beaten by Matteo Berrettini. Last year, the clay court specialist had made it to the third round at Roland Garros.
Facing Coria in the first round will be a familiar opponent in World No. 116 Francisco Cerundolo, who qualified following a tough win over Slovenia’s Blaz Rola in the second qualifying round on Monday. Cerundolo overcame a first set deficit to beat the Slovenian 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2). On Sunday, the 22-year-old had beaten Sweden’s Leo Borg 6-3, 6-1.
Cerundolo is 5-6 on the tour this year, and has already featured in an ATP final, in Buenos Aires. He won all three of his qualifiers and then went on to beat Coria, Paire, Pablo Andujar and Albert Ramos Vinolas before falling to Diego Schwartzman in the final.
Coria v Cerundolo Tip
Coria to win: 4/6 (bet365)
Pedro Martinez v Dennis Novak Preview
World No. 95 Pedro Martinez of Spain is 7-10 in 2021, with four of those wins coming in Grand Slams after he reached the third rounds at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
In Melbourne, Martinez defeated Yoshihito Nishioka and Emil Ruusuvuori before falling to Dusan Lajovic. While at Wimbledon, he beat Stefano Travaglia and Gael Monfils but couldn’t find a way past Christian Garin. The Spaniard made it to the second round in Estoril and Parma as a qualifier and also won his first round match against Sebastian Korda at Roland Garros this year. Last year, he had reached the third round of the French Open,
The 24-year-old has a 10-15 career record on clay and he achieved a career-high ranking of 82 last year after going 18-3 across levels.
Martinez will face Austrian qualifier Dennis Novak, who has a 3-7 record this year. The 27-year-old Novak defeated Norway’s Viktor Durasovic 6-2, 6-4 in the first qualifying round on Sunday and Switzerland’s Marc-Andrea Huesler 6-2, 6-2 in the second qualifying round on Monday.
The World No. 122 Novak’s three tour-level wins this year came against Fabio Fognini at the ATP Cup and Gilles Simon and Dusan Lajovic in Montpellier, where he reached the quarterfinals before bowing out. The Austrian will be making his second appearance in Bastad. He lost in the second round in 2019.
Martinez v Novak Tip
Martinez to win: 2/5 (bet365)
Emil Ruusuvuori v Mikael Ymer Preview
It’s a rematch of the unexpected third round matchup at the 2021 Miami Open. Ruusuvuori had rallied from a set down to stun Alexander Zverev in the second round, while Ymer knocked out the much higher ranked Nikoloz Basilashvili, also in three. He took the first set against Ruusuvuori in the Round of 32 as well, but the Finn made a solid comeback to reach the Round of 16 for the first time at a Masters event.
Beaten by Jannik Sinner in the fourth round in Miami, Ruusuvuori has otherwise had a quiet year. The 22-year-old is 9-11 this year. Seeded eighth in Bastad, the World No. 80 will have his task cut out agains Ymer, as he has won just one main draw match on clay from seven matches and is 0-3 this year.
The World No. 94 Ymer on the other hand has a 7-12 career record on clay and is 2-3 this year. Overall he has a 7-9 win-loss record in 2021, with five of those seven wins coming in Grand Slams. Ymer reached the third rounds at the Australian and French Opens and the second round at Wimbledon.
Some of his biggest wins came against Hubert Hurkacz at the Australian Open, Gael Monfils at Roland Garros and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at Wimbledon. Also a 22-year-old, the Swede will make his fourth main draw appearance in Bastad. He lost in the first round in 2017 and in the second rounds in 2018 and 2019.
Ruusuvuori v Ymer Tip
Ymer to win: 8/15 (bet365)