ATP Halle 2021 Day 2 Schedule: Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev, and Others in Action

Published 06/14/2021, 4:23 PM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 21, 2021 Russia’s Daniil Medvedev reacts during his final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


With a lot of top players deciding to play a practice tournament ahead of Wimbledon Championships, the grass-court tournament at Halle, Germany, is filled with exciting matchups right from the first-round of men’s singles draw. World number two Daniil Medvedev will make his debut at the Noventi Open on Tuesday.

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Ten-time Halle Champion Roger Federer won his first-round match against Ilya Ivashka, 7-6,7-5. The Swiss Maestro, who is seeded number five in the tournament, could meet Medvedev in the quarter-finals.

The first-round matches continue today with the likes of Andrey Rublev, Alexander Zverev, Felix Auger-Aliassime, etc. being in the mix.

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Let’s take a look at some of the interesting matchups on a busy Tuesday at the Noventi Open.

Daniil Medvedev vs Jan-Lennard Struff – Preview & Prediction

Medvedev will begin his campaign at the Noventi Open tomorrow against home player Jan-Lennard Struff.

This is the first time Medvedev opted to play a grass court event ahead of Wimbledon. At the French Open last week, the Russian reached the quarter-finals, where he lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets.

Just like clay, the Russian didn’t have an exceptional record on grass courts. His best-result was reaching the third-round at Wimbledon for two straight years(2018&2019).

Mar 28, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Daniil Medvedev of Russia hits a backhand against Alexei Popyrin of Australia (not pictured) in the third round in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Watch this story: When Roger Federer Toyed With His Opponent so Bad That He Asked Advice From Andre Agassi in the Crowd

Against Struff, Medvedev has a 3-0 head-to-head record in his favor. With none of their encounters being on grass courts, it will be interesting to see two players with strong serves going hard against each other.

During his French Open run, the Russian slightly changed his tactic by coming forward to the net more often than expected. This strategy will surely work wonders if implemented properly against Struff.

Also, the German’s win-loss record on grass court might benefit Daniil Medvedev in a quest to win his first title on grass.

Prediction: Daniil Medvedev to win in three sets

Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Hubert Hurkacz – Preview & Prediction

Another enthralling matchup in the second-day of Halle Open will be between Felix Auger-Aliassime and Hubert Hurkacz. Felix, who reached the finals of Stuttgart Open couple of days ago, would have been disappointed to lost his 8th ATP final.

However, the young Canadian is full of talent and hard-work as he proved time and again that he will make a huge impact on the ATP tour sooner or later. Felix has an all-round game which proves to be useful on all surfaces.

Despite a discouraging clay-court season, the next-gen player bounced back in Stuttgart, where he defeated Lloyd Harris, Sam Querrey, and Ugo Humbert.

Tennis – Murray River Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 7, 2021 Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime reacts during his final singles match against Britain’s Dan Evans REUTERS/Kelly Defina

Coming to his first-round opponent Hubert Hurkacz, the young Polish player also had a forgettable clay-court season after winning his first big title at Miami Masters in March.

Just like many players of his age, grass-court tennis doesn’t come naturally to Hurkacz. He excels on hard-courts with heavy-hitting groud strokes that disrupt the opponent’s momentum.

Apr 4, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Hubert Hurkacz of Poland poses with the Butch Bucholz trophy after his match against Jannik Sinner of Italy (not pictured) in the men’s singles final in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Comparing the two, Felix has a better experience of playing and winning on grass than his Polish opponent. While the defeat in Stuttgart finals will have an impact on the Canadian, it remains to be seen how he overcomes the mental block to play his natural tennis.

Hurkacz, on the other hand, will enter the match as an under-dog. As a result, the reigning Miami Open champion can fancy his chances against Felix Auger-Aliassime.

The winner of this contest will face Roger Federer in the second round.

Prediction: Felix Auger-Aliassime to win in straight sets

Alexander Zverev vs Dominik Koepfer – Preview & Prediction

An all-German affair at Halle Open would have been more exciting if fans were allowed inside the stadium. Nevertheless, another interesting encounter is on cards for tennis fans when Alexander Zverev faces compatriot Dominik Koepfer in the first-round.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 6, 2021 Germany’s Alexander Zverev in action during his fourth round match against Japan’s Kei Nishikori REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

The duo met once before on the ATP tour, where Zverev defeated Koepfer in straight sets. But, Koepfer almost stunned Roger Federer at the French Open a few days ago. Even though the surfaces are different, Koepfer will enter Halle with more confidence than he had last time.

Coming to Alexander Zverev, he has a better record in Halle as he was a two-time finalist(2016&2017). On the same court, the German defeated Roger Federer in 2016.

Zverev has the upper hand against Koepfer as he played the tournament a couple of times before. But, the no.6 player had a terrific battle against Tsitsipas in the French Open semi-finals. If he starts looking a bit rusty in the first few games, Koepfer can surely look to attack from the net.

Prediction: Alexander Zverev to win in three sets

Andrey Rublev vs Karen Khachanov – Preview & Prediction

When two hard-hitting Russians meet each other, fans can gear up for an engaging thriller. The same can be expected when Rublev takes on compatriot Karen Khachanov in the first-round of Halle Open.

The duo faced each other at the same event in 2017, where Rublev was still playing challenger events while Khachanov announced himself as the next big thing in Russian tennis. In their first grass-court meeting Khachanov defeated Rublev in three sets, 7-6,4-6,6-3.

Andrey Rublev has come a long way since then as he registered victories against top players like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, etc. Rublev, just like his next-gen peers is still a growing player on grass-courts. He just played seven matches on grass with 4 wins and 3 losses.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 17, 2021 Russia’s Andrey Rublev reacts during his semi final match against Norway’s Casper Ruud REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

On the other hand, Karen Khachanov’s career might not have turned out the way a lot of tennis enthusiasts expected it to be when he defeated Novak Djokovic to claim the 2018 Rolex Paris Masters.

But, Khachanov is still a dangerous prospect on any given surface. If he gets going with powerful baseline shots, it will be a mammoth task to stop him.

However, grass demands some variety from players and it will be interesting to see the tactical changes made by these two players before their first-round contest.

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Prediction: Andrey Rublev to win in three sets

All in all, an intriguing day of grass-court tennis awaits enthusiasts at Halle Open on Tuesday.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

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Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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