World No. 82 Soonwoo Kwon of Korea will meet World No. 150 Evgeny Donskoy of Russia in the first round of the 2021 Astana Open on Wednesday, September 22. Get the live streaming options of this Soonwoo Kwon v Evgeny Donskoy match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Soonwoo Kwon v Evgeny Donskoy Head to Head
This will be their first tour-level meeting. However, they have met thrice at the lower level (all on hard courts) with Kwon leading 2-1 head-to-head.
Kwon Showing Improvement
The 23-year-old has been impressive in a few tournaments this year, but his hard court form hasn’t quite been up to the mark. Kwon, who reached the quarterfinals in Singapore, is 4-8 on hard courts this year and has won just one of his last five matches on the surface.
The Korean however has a winning record of 5-4 on clay and 5-2 grass this season. Over the weekend he won both of his Davis Cup singles rubbers against New Zealand on grass to give Korea a 3-1 win.
Overall, Kwon is 14-14 on the tour this year and that includes a first-ever ATP semifinal appearance in Eastbourne. Having lost the qualifiers, Kwon got an entry into the second round as a lucky loser and he made the most of the opportunity by beating Marton Fucsovics and Ilya Ivashka to reach the final four.
A five-time winner on the Futures tour and a three-time champion on the Challenger tour, Kwon won last of those titles on hard courts of Biella-2 earlier this year. He also made it to the third round of the French Open and the quarterfinals in Marbella in what was a decent clay court season for him.
Can the Korean improve his record on hard courts with a solid run in Astana?
Donskoy Comes through Qualifiers
Evgeny Donskoy qualified for the main draw with two straight sets wins in the qualifying round. The Russian defeated Italy’s Andrea Vavassori 7-6(7-4), 6-2 in the first qualifying round and followed it up with a 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) win over compatriot Pavel Kotov in the second qualifier.
The 31-year-old, who peaked to a career-high ranking of 65 in 2013, is 1-4 on the tour this year and 1-3 on hard courts, a surface where he has produced better results over his career.
Donskoy’s only win came over Jason Jung in Los Cabos this year. He has also mostly struggled at the Challenger level, with just one semifinal finish in Biella-2, where he was beaten by Kwon, and a quarterfinal finish in Nottingham, where he fell to Frances Tiafoe.
Last week he was playing at Istanbul-2, and won the first round of the hard court tournament but fell in the second round.
Kwon v Donskoy Prediction and Tip
Kwon will be the favourite to win this contest. He has had more experience on the tour of late and has displayed better form than Donskoy. Expect the Korean to win in straight sets.