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Men’s singles draw analysis, preview and predictions

The sixth edition of the Serbia Open will take place from April 18-24 in Belgrade. Last year, Matteo Berrettini won the tournament by beating Aslan Karatsev 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(0) in a final thriller. However, the Italian will not be defending his title this year due to injury.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is the top seed at the event and the heavy favorite to win it. However, second seed Andrey Rublev is in good form and might give the Serb a run for his money from him.

The tournament will also see Dominic Thiem make his return to the ATP tour after ten months on the sidelines.

With the draw for the 2022 Serbia Open being released, let’s take a detailed look at how the action is likely to unfold.


Top Half: Novak Djokovic will look to regain his form, Dominic Thiem returns to ATP tour

Top seeds: (1) Novak Djokovic, (3) Karen Khachanov, (7) Miomir Kecmanovic, (8) Filip Krajinovic

Expected semifinal: Novak Djokovic vs. Karen Khachanov

darkhorse: Dominic Thiem

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will look to win the Serbia Open for the third time after his disappointing second-round exit at the Monte-Carlo Masters. The Serb is the top seed and has thus received a bye to the second round. His likely opponent in the second round will be Laslo Djere.

Djokovic should be able to get the better of his compatriot to reach the quarterfinals, where he could face either Dominic Thiem or Miomir Kecmanovic. The latter produced impressive performances in the United States, reaching the quarterfinals at Indian Wells and Miami. Djokovic will favor his chances against either an undercooked Thiem or the hard-hitting Kecmanovic.

The other half of the draw houses third seed Karen Khachanov. The Russian has not been in the best of form lately but given the favorable draw, he should be able to make a deep run at the ATP 250 tournament.

Khachanov will most likely face the talented Mikael Ymer in the second round. The World No. 96 has a win percentage of 42.3% on clay compared to the 55.4% for the Russian. Khachanov should be able to beat him and reach the last eight. He will most likely meet Filip Krajinovic in the quarterfinals, although David Goffin, who is coming off a win at the Grand Prix Hassan II, is also in the mix.

Bottom Half: Andrey Rublev will fancy his chances at the Serbia Open

Top seeds: (2) Andrey Rublev, (4) Aslan Karatsev, (5) Cristian Garin, (6) Fabio Fognini

Expected semifinal: Andrey Rublev vs. Fabio Fognini

darkhorse: Holger Rune

Second seed Andrey Rublev is among the favorites to win the Serbia Open but could face a couple of tricky opponents along the way. The Russian has received a bye to the second round where he will most likely face Henri Laaksonen, whom he beat at the Rotterdam Open.

Rublev should have little trouble beating the Swiss and reaching the quarterfinals. His most likely opponent in the last eight will be Cristian Garin, although young Dane Holger Rune is rising quickly up the ranks and should not be written off. The World No. 8, however, should be too strong for either opponent to reach the semifinals of the Serbia Open.

The other side of the half has Fabio Fognini and last year’s runner-up Aslan Karatsev. The Italian fell out of the top 60 of the ATP rankings following his second-round exit at the Monte-Carlo Masters. Fognini will be determined to have a good run in Belgrade and is more than capable of doing so.

Karatsev has not been particularly impressive since lifting the trophy at the Sydney International in January, winning only four out of twelve matches since then.

Karatsev and Fognini are the favorites to reach the last eight of the Serbia Open. However, Alejandro Tabilo and Oscar Otte might spring a surprise or two in this half of the draw. If Fognini and Karatsev do end up meeting in the quarterfinals, the Italian should have enough to get past his Russian opponent and make the semifinals.


Semi-final predictions:

Novak Djokovic def. Karen Khachanov

Andrey Rublev def. Fabio Fogni


Final prediction: Andrey Rublev def. Novak Djokovic


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Edited by Nihal Taraporvala

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