ATP Dubai Open 2021 Final: Aslan Karatsev v Lloyd Harris Preview, Head-to-Head & Prediction

Published 03/20/2021, 2:30 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 16, 2021 Russia’s Aslan Karatsev celebrates winning his quarter final match against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov REUTERS/Kelly Defina


Two unexpected heroes are one step away from the Dubai Open 2021 trophy. Wild-card entrant, Aslan Karatsev, will take on qualifier Lloyd Harris in the final on March 20.

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Both the Russian and the South African have had an incredible journey behind them. Now, the duo has a chance to win their first-ever ATP title.

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Aslan Karatsev v Lloyd Harris: Preview

The Australian Open 2021 was only a beginning for the 27-year-old Russian who defeated his countryman Andrey Rublev 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 en route to the final. Doing so, he even broke the World No.8’s 23-match winning streak.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Russia’s Aslan Karatsev in action during his fourth-round match against Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime REUTERS/Kelly Defina

His next opponent, the South African qualifier Lloyd Harris, is amid one of his best tournaments so far. Before his semifinal against third seed Denis Shapovalov, the 24-year-old said he felt the tiredness of playing two events.

Despite the fatigue, Harris beat Shapovalov from a set down in a tight deciding set tiebreaker: 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (6). The biggest question in the minds of tennis fans will be how he can maintain this rhythm and manage his fatigue in the final match of the event.

Karatsev v Harris: Head-to-Head

The Australian Open semi-finalist will meet the South African qualifier for the first time in his career. However, it may not be the only time they meet one other considering their developing talent.

Most importantly, their first win against one another will also mean winning the ATP Dubai Open 2021. Thus, there could not have been a more valuable match at stake.

Karatsev v Harris: Prediction

The Russian has an undisputed raw firepower coupled with his classic tennis routine. As a result, Karatsev does not give his opponent much room to hit and keeps the ball close to their body at most times.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Russia’s Aslan Karatsev reacts during his fourth-round match against Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

Therefore, Harris will need to find a way to move freely around the court. It can be achieved with a high first-serve percentage and returning the opponent’s service well.

To conclude, there is no doubt that Aslan Karatsev will leave nothing behind to win his first ATP title. Also, he has the advantage as Harris is seemingly running on fumes and his win over Shapovalov might have been all he had left.

It looks like the South African will bring his clean hitting and tactical play into the game, but Karatsev will wear him out over the duration of the match.

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Who do you think will win the ATP Dubai Open 2021?

Prediction: Karatsev to win his first ATP title in straight sets.

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Purav Joshi

670 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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