Fixture: (2) Stefanos Tsitsipas vs (3) Alexander Zverev
Date: 21 August 2021
Tournament: 2021 Western & Southern Open
Venue: Cincinnati, Ohio
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $3,028,140
Match timing: Not before 6 pm local time, 10 pm GMT, 3.30 am IST
Live telecast: USA – Tennis Channel | UK – Amazon Prime Video | India – Voot Select
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Alexander Zverev preview
Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas takes on third seed Alexander Zverev in the semifinals of the 2021 Western and Southern Open on Saturday.
Tsitsipas has been one of the most consistent performers on the ATP Tour this year. He reached the first Grand Slam final of his career at Roland Garros, and also won his first ever Masters title at Monte Carlo.
The Greek has continued in the same vein during the American hardcourt swing, reaching the semifinals at both Toronto and Cincinnati. Impressively, Tsitsipas has shown plenty of fight this week to get through tight three-set encounters against Lorenzo Sonego and Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Alexander Zverev, on the other hand, has had a bit of an up-and-down season so far. While Zverev won the title in Acapulco as well as Madrid, he has also suffered a few shock defeats.
But the German’s form and consistency have seen an upswing recently. Zverev went all the way at the Tokyo Olympics, defeating Novak Djokovic in the semifinals and Karen Khachanov in the final to win the coveted gold medal.
The 24-year-old came into Cincinnati with plenty of momentum on his side. He is yet to be truly tested in the American city, brushing past his first three opponents without dropping a set.
In his quarterfinal match on Friday, Zverev easily dispatched the in-form Casper Ruud for thte loss of just four games.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Alexander Zverev head-to-head
The semifinal encounter in Cincinnati is the ninth match between the two players, and Stefanos Tsitsipas currently leads the head-to-head 6-2 over Alexander Zverev.
The pair have split their two meetings this year. Tsitsipas prevailed in the Roland Garros semifinals, while Zverev defeated the Greek in the Acapulco final.
Prior to this year, though, Germany’s only win over Tsitsipas had come in their first ever meeting – back at Washington 2018.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Alexander Zverev prediction
Stefanos Tsitsipas has been the more consistent player this year, but Alexander Zverev’s red-hot form makes this encounter a tricky one to call.
That said, Tsitsipas has adapted well to the quick North American hardcourts over the past two weeks. He has been very consistent on his serve, and his forehand has been a massive weapon.
Zverev, on his part, has historically not enjoyed playing in Cincinnati. The German won his first ever match at the tournament earlier this week, having gone 0-6 in his previous six appearances.
Zverev’s game is built around his big serve, but he is prone to making untimely double faults. The World No. 5 also has a powerful backhand, and Tsitsipas would need to avoid that wing as far as possible. The Greek’s single-hander does not have enough power and depth to match Zverev’s effortless backhand.
Zverev has been solid with his serve this week, having maintained a first-serve rate of over 65%. Tsitsipas will therefore need to be zoned in on the return, an aspect of his game that has significantly improved of late.
If the Greek is clever and employs his variety to put pressure on Zverev’s forehand and serve, he might be able to eke out a win on Saturday.
Prediction: Stefanos Tsitsipas to win in three sets.