This will be the second time these two players will face each other, after Cincinnati in 2020. Aljaz Bedene won that match in two tight sets.
This is the first time that both players have participated in the main draw of this ATP 250 event in Sardinia.
In this edition
In the 1st round, Aljaz Bedene won against Giulio Zeppieri (in 3 sets, including a tie-break win). The Slovenian then beat Egor Gerasimov in 2 sets (including a tie-break).
As for Taylor Fritz, he took advantage of his 30th place to skip the first round. The American then defeated Andrej Martin in his first round of competition.
Both players have interesting qualities that can annoy the other. The aggressive tennis of Taylor Fritz against the defensive consistency of Aljaz Bedene. I’ll take it.
I don’t expect a one-sided match here. It must be said that we are dealing with two good men who, on paper, know how to serve well. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a tie-break in this match.
I’ll hang on to details to predict a win for Aljaz Bedene.
First of all, the Slovenian is more comfortable on this surface. His mobility and good slide management should allow him to return many balls and force Taylor Fritz to play an extra shot. The American has never been a fan of clay courts. It must be said that he doesn’t have the physical strength to play long rallies for more than 2 hours, and that makes him lose his lucidity. So I expect Aljaz Bedene to push him to the limit and make him make more mistakes.
Also, Taylor Fritz often stays in the same pattern of play. That is to say, powerful shots from the baseline and a few calculated rises to the net. Aljaz Bedene is a bit more unpredictable, and I can see him succeeding in upsetting the American (with his secret bunts, for example).
Finally, the quality of service of these two players should be important. As mentioned above, I can imagine a small tie-break in this match. Nevertheless, I expect a lot of rallies in this match. Aljaz Bedene played another good server in his last match and it went pretty well. He was able to rebound a lot of Gerasimov’s serve and win 40% of the points on the Belarusian’s serve. No doubt Fritz could be in danger if the Slovenian manages to have the same feeling this Friday.
Let’s beware of Taylor Fritz who is far from being a bad player, even on this surface.
Prediction: Aljaz Bedene wins