Ilya Ivashka (L) & Stefanos Tsitsipas
Date: 20 April 2022.
Tournament: Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell
Round: Second Round (Round of 32).
Venue: Real Club de Tenis Barcelona.
Category: ATP 500.
Surface: Outdoor clay.
Match timing: Approx 5.30 pm local time, 3.30 pm GMT, 11.30 am ET, 9 pm IST
Prize money: €2,661,825.
Live telecast: USA – Tennis Channel | UK – Amazon Prime Video | Canada – TSN
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Ilya Ivashka preview
Monte-Carlo Masters champion Stefanos Tsitsipas will look to extend his five-match winning streak when he takes on Ilya Ivashka in the Barcelona Open second round on Wednesday.
Tsitsipas has had a solid season so far. He made it to the semifinals of the Australian Open and backed it up with a runner-up showing in Rotterdam. After a quarterfinal in Marseille and a semifinal in Acapulco, the World No. 5 struggled in the North American hardcourt swing.
A return to claycourt once again brought the best out of the Roland Garros runner-up. The 23-year-old successfully defended his Monte-Carlo Masters crown and will be eager to go one better in Barcelona this time around after losing to Rafael Nadal in the final twice, once in 2018 and in 2021.
Ilya Ivashka at the Rolex Paris Masters
World No. 44 Ilya Ivashka, meanwhile, produced a consistent season last year, winning his maiden ATP title at Winston-Salem. He also reached a couple of other semifinals in Nur-Sultan and Munich.
This year, however, the Belarusian has struggled to match those highs. He came to Barcelona on the back of a 3-5 win-loss record for the season, with a solitary quarterfinal appearance in Marseille being his best result so far.
The 28-year-old started his campaign in the Catalan capital on Tuesday with a 6-4, 7-6(4) win over Pedro Martinez.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Ilya Ivashka head-to-head
Tsitsipas leads 1-0 in the head-to-head against Ivashka. The Greek earned a commanding 6-4, 6-1 win in their only face-off so far at Rotterdam earlier this year.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Ilya Ivashka prediction
Tsitsipas with the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters trophy
Ilya Ivashka has a potent first serve and flat groundstrokes off both wings, which makes him a dangerous opponent on hardcourt. His forehand is his biggest weapon, which he hits with a lot of pace and power.
However, the Belarusian doesn’t have much variety or patience to carefully construct points that are needed on claycourt. Moreover, he will be facing a player who has come into this tournament with a lot of confidence and momentum.
Not only that, Tsitsipas has loads more experience than Ivashka at the highest level of the sport and is well-equipped for this surface. He likes to dictate points with his heavy forehand and has improved his slice backhand as well to add another facet to his game.
Tsitsipas also served very well throughout his Monte Carlo campaign, making his game almost complete on the red dirt.
That said, the Greek might need a bit of time to break the Ivashka serve. The Belarusian produced 10 aces against Martinez in the first round and will look to replicate that effort against the top seed too.
But once Tsitsipas makes in-roads into the Ivashka serve, it will be hard to stop him.
Prediction: Tsitsipas to win in straight sets.