Ilya Ivashka from Belarus will face Pablo Andujar from Spain in the first round of the Sofia Open 2021 on Monday 27 September here.
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Ilya Ivashka versus Pablo Andujar head to head
Ivashka and Andujar have only participated in a single career head-to-head meeting so far. The two met in 2018 in the second round of the clay court event in Marrakech, Morocco. The Spaniard prevailed in straight sentences.
Ivashka leaves Astana in the semifinals
After nearly reaching week two of the US Open, Ivashka got a good level of confidence in his system at the Astana Open.
The young Belarusian was keen to combine the confidence of his third run at the Flushing Meadows into a tough title challenge in the Kazakh capital.
The win led him to a round of 16 game against Skatov Timofey from Kazakhstan. The Belarusian celebrated another sovereign win against the unannounced Kazakhs to contest a quarter-final showdown against Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori.
Ivashka recovered from a set against Ruusuvuori and reached the semifinals with a fine come-from-behind win. However, the Belarusian couldn’t find his best tennis when it counted and went down in the round of 16 against Australian James Duckworth.
Ivashka would like to use his disappointment in the Kazakh capital as a springboard for his second career title at the Sofia Open, but faces a tricky start against the experienced Spaniard Pablo Andujar.
In its current form, the Belarusian should be happy to overtake the Spaniard, but should not let up.
Andujar fell to Rune in the last challenger event
Aside from the shocking win over Roger Federer at the Geneva Open earlier this year, Andujar had too many reasons to celebrate this year.
In the Challenger event draw in Szczecin, Poland, the Spaniard reached the round of 16 before being defeated by up-and-coming Dane Holger Rune.
A veteran of many fights, Andujar is desperately hoping to start a winning streak at the Soafia Open, starting with his opener against Ivashka on Monday.
What will give him some confidence in the game is the fact that he emerged victorious in his only face-to-face duel with Ivashka in 2018.
However, this shouldn’t be an excuse for the Spaniard to be complacent as Ivashka has had a semi-final in Astana and would go highly into that game.
Ivashka v Andujar forecast and tip
While Andujar won his only head-to-head duel with Ivashka, the current form is undoubtedly the decisive factor for the Belarusian.
The Sofia Open 2021 will take place from September 27th to October 3rd. You can view and bet on these games here. Get your latest premium tennis predictions here.