World no. 95 Andreas Seppi of Italy will face World No. 151 Illya Marchenko of Ukraine in a battle of qualifiers in the first round of the 2021 Sofia Open on Wednesday, September 29. Get the live streaming options of this Andreas Seppi v Illya Marchenko match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Andreas Seppi v Illya Marchenko Head to Head
Marchenko leads Seppi 2-1 on the tour, but they are 2-2, including the Challenger tournaments. They have not met since 2016 though.
Seppi Eases Into the Main Draw
Andreas Seppi will be featuring at the Sofia Open for the fifth time in his career after he qualified for the main draw with a straight sets win over Bulgaria’s Alexander Donski.
The 37-year-old Italian won 91% points on the first serve and broke his opponent thrice in the match to win the second qualifying round 6-3, 6-2.
The Italian had begun his qualification campaign with a 7-6, 6-2 win over Turkey’s Cem İlkel on Sunday.
A quarterfinalist in Sofia in 2016, the Italian doesn’t have a great record in the tournament, winning just three matches in the past four appearances
The World No. 95 is 7-12 this season and was particularly good at the U.S. Open, where he upset Hubert Hurkacz in the second round after stunning Marton Fucsovics in the Round of 128. But barring that run at Flushing Meadows, the Italian’s form, particularly on hard courts this season has been poor and a 3-8 record on the surface speaks for itself.
Most recently, he participated in the Astana Open, falling to World No. 280 Timofey Skatov in a dramatic three-setter.
He will find it difficult to go deep in Sofia but will fancy his chances against fellow qualifier in the first round.
Marchenko Rallies Past Machac
Ilya Marchenko will be featuring in the main draw of an ATP tournament for the first time since the Washington Open.
The Ukrainian, who qualified for Washington, before falling to Marcos Giron, failed to qualify for the Canadian Open, the U.S. Open and the Astana Open. However, he finally returned to the main draw of an ATP tournament by scoring a come-from-behind win over the Czech Republic’s Tomas Machac on Monday.
Marchenko, who stunned Italy’s Marco Cecchinato 6-3, 6-3 in the first qualifying round on Sunday, rallied to a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) win over Machac to qualify for the fifth tour-level main draw of the season.
Ranked No. 151 in the world, the 34-year-old won the Biella-1 title on the Challenger Tour earlier this year, defeating Andy Murray in the final. He has an overall season record of 3-4 on the tour and having reached the main draw again after a while he will be looking to make the most of the opportunity.
Seppi v Marchenko Prediction and Tip
Seppi has tasted more success recently, he is the more experienced player and will be looking to start well. Marchenko, meanwhile, is coming off two good wins, one of them against the World No. 82 Cecchinato. Expect a close contest, with the Italian edging out Marchenko.