This will be a first between these two players.
This will be Borna Coric’s third participation in this ATP 500 in Rotterdam. Until now, he has always been eliminated in the 2nd round.
Botic Van De Zandschulp took advantage of an invitation to play in the final draw of this Dutch tournament for the first time in his career.
I must confess that I don’t have many doubts about Borna Coric and her ability to win this match. He is not uncomfortable with these conditions (only 3 eliminations in the first match of an indoor tournament since 2018, in 9 participations) and will face an opponent in his ropes.
Botic Van De Zandschulp obviously has some interesting qualities. He knows how to serve well and this was something that really bothered Karen Khachanov in Melbourne at the beginning of February. He can also drop powerful shots that give him valuable points.
Where I think Borna Coric will be able to regularly take the lead is that the Dutchman’s balls can run out of length. Indeed, Van De Zandschulp likes to make his opponents play and use variations to force them to commit faults. His priority is to send the ball back into the court, and I’m sure that will give Borna Coric a lot of opportunities.
It should also be noted that Botic Van De Zandschulp can be quite feverish on the fly. If Borna Coric manages to realize this, he could also manage to exploit this flaw by forcing his opponent to run forward.
I still have two points of attention preventing me from putting my highest trust. First of all, Borna Coric really serves small second balls. A bit like the Goffin, her opponents often manage to steal points from her when her first ones don’t pass.
Then Botic Van De Zandschulp will play at home and for the first time in an ATP 500. So we can imagine that he will have a conquering spirit. For this last point, there is still one parameter to take into account: we don’t know yet if there will be an audience in the stands. The organizers are not yet very clear with the current situation, and many purchased tickets have already been postponed to the 2022 edition. In the best case, there will be perhaps a small quarter of the stands filled. All this to say that the Dutchman might find it difficult to play transcended if he doesn’t feel the support of his audience.
We can imagine this match as a trap match for Borna Coric. I dare to believe that he will do what is necessary to win.
Prediction: Borna Coric wins