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Pavel Kotov vs Sebastian Ofner – Breakdown and Prediction

Pascal Della Zuana /Icon Sport

Pavel Kotov vs Sebastian Ofner: ATP Barcelona – First round

Two clay court specialists will face each other in the opening round of ATP Barcelona.

Pavel Kotov Profile

Pavel Kotov is 69th in the ATP rankings, eight spots lower than his career high. The Russian is 7-7 for the season, including 3-1 on clay courts.

Kotov is coming off a 6-4, 6-2 semifinal loss to Roberto Carballes Baena in Marrakech. Previously, he lost in the opening rounds of three consecutive tournaments in Miami, Indian Wells, and Dubai.

Besides the semifinal last week, Kotov’s best result of the season was the quarterfinal in Hong Kong in the opening week of 2024.

This will be his second appearance in Barcelona. Last year, he defeated Matteo Gigante and Benoit Paire in the qualifiers and Oleksii Krytikh in the opening round before losing to Cameron Norrie in the second.

Sebastian Ofner Profile

Sebastian Ofner is 44th in the rankings, and he has never been higher than 37th in the world. The Austrian is 8–12 for the season and 1–5 on clay courts.

Ofner is coming off a 6-3, 6-4 loss to Alexander Zverev in the second round in Monte Carlo after defeating Daniel Evans in the opener.

Last week, he suffered a heartbreaking loss in the decisive tiebreak in the opening round in Marrakech against Alexander Vukic.

Ofner’s best result this season was reaching the semifinals in Hong Kong, where he lost to Emil Ruusuvuori.

This is his first appearance in Barcelona.

Head-to-Head – Tied 1-1

  • Kotov vs Ofner 6-3, 6-4 (2022 US Open, second qualifying round)
  • Ofner vs Kotov 7-6, 7-5 (2022 ATP Kitzbuhel, first qualifying round)

Prediction and Conclusion

Both Kotov and Ofner have gotten themselves a chance to play in the main draw of the ATP 500 tournaments, and both of them see this match as a great opportunity to have their biggest result of the season. Just like the majority of the players ranked between 40 and 70, Kotov and Ofner have had many ups and downs so far in the season. Kotov made it to the semis in Marrakech, which is a very solid result, but whoever watched the match against Carballes Baena, it is obvious that the Russian is not in his best physical form. It is very rare to see an overweight tennis player, and Kotov fits that description. Ofner, on the other hand, has lost 80% of his clay court matches this season, which also does not give room for optimism. Still, the Austrian has been the better player overall and won their previous match on clay, so we are going with Ofner in this one.

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