No. 18 seed Aslan Karatsev of Russia will meet unseeded Spaniard Jaume Munar in the first round of the 2022 Australian Open on Monday, January 17. Get the live streaming options of this Aslan Karatsev v Jaume Munar match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Aslan Karatsev v Jaume Munar Head to Head
Kartasev is 1-0 at the tour level, having beaten the Spaniard in the first round of the U.S. Open. They also met at a lower level once with Munar winnig that match in 2017.
Karatsev Coming In as Sydney Champion
The Australian Open turned things around for him last year, when he made a stunning run to the semifinals on his Grand Slam debut after making the main draw through the qualifiers.
One year after his heroic run to fame in Melbourne, Karatsev is returning a much different player. He has already featured in four finals since that success, winning three of those. The most recent of those triumphs came in Sydney on Saturday, two days before the start of the Australian Open.
Playing his first tournament of 2022, the Russian has made a confident start, capturing the crown by beating Andy Murray 6-3, 6-3 in a one-sided final. Kartsev’s route to the final included wins over Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanović in the Round of 16, Lorenzo Sonego in the quarterfinals and Daniel Evans in the semifinals.
Ranked No. 20 in the world, the 28-year-old’s two other titles came in Dubai and Moscow last year. The 34-20 season also saw the Russian finish runner-up to Matteo Berrettini in Belgrade.
Coming in as Sydney champion, Karatsev will be seen as a threat by his opponents. He should ease past his first two opponents but faces a potential third round match-up with No. 10 seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland.
Clay Court Specialist Munar May Find the Going Tough
Munar comes into the tournament with a 3-2 record this season. The Spaniard, ranked No. 72 in the world, reached the quarterfinals of his season opener in Melbourne, with wins over Kevin Anderson and Henri Laaksonen. His failed to reach the semifinals after a straight sets defeat to Maxime Cressy.
In his second tournament at Adelaide-2, Munar knocked out Jon Millman in the first round but couldn’t find a way past Marin Cilic in the Round of 16.
The 24-year-old, who has found more success on clay than on any other surface, is coming off a poor 12-19 season, with a run to his maiden ATP final in Marbella being the only highlight.
He did well at the challenger level, reaching four finals and winning one of those in Antalya.
While he did reasonably well on clay, also reaching the semifinals in Parma, he struggled big time on hard courts, winning just one of his main draw matches last year.
Munar will be happy with the start he has got in 2022, but upsetting Karastsev in the first round will be a huge ask.
Karatsev v Munar Prediction and Tip
Karatsev is coming into the tournament as a champion. Expect him to keep the winning run going with a straight sets win over the Spaniard.