A Balazs (@1.4) vs S Stakhovsky (@3.0)

Our Prediction:

A Balazs will win

A Balazs – S Stakhovsky Match Prediction | 15-09-2019 05:00

The qualifier Balazs has been proving pundits wrong all week, saving seven match points against Viktor Galovic before upsetting Filip Krajinovic in a deciding set tie-break. He backed that up by ousting Stefano Travaglia in the quarterfinals. Then, on Saturday, the 30-year-old advanced to his maiden ATP final by beating the third seed Laslo Djere 6-2 6-4 after the Serbian put up a very poor performance.

The Serbian will try to keep the rallies going, his shots are much steadier and his one-handed backhand is certainly not a liability. He doesnt serve as quick and flat as Balazs but his kick serve can be a very powerful weapon on a high-bouncing court. Lajovic is an excellent mover and his defensive abilities will be of very high importance in this matchup.

Lajovic ended up losing against Fabio Fognini but the result saw him propel to a career-high #23 in the ATP rankings. An excellent run and wins over David Goffin, Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev saw him reach a Masters 1000 championship match at the Monte Carlo Masters. Dusan Lajovics development has been much steadier, the Serbian finished the last five seasons in the top 100 but its also this year that he made his first ATP final.

ATP Croatia Open Final Prediction: Attila Balazs vs Dusan Lajovic

But he has had a good season so far, reaching two Challenger finals in June, losing to Pablo Andujar in Prostejov and to Norbert Gombos in Bratislava. He also made an ATP quarterfinal at a tournament in his hometown of Budapest, where he lost to Pierre-Hugues Herbert. Balazs plays mostly on the ATP Challenger Tour, the 2019 Croatia Open is just his sixth main draw appearance.

Balazs is a very good clay court player and he should be able to get through here. But Molleker is underrated on clay and he has been showing up and performing well on the surface, particularly on the Challenger circuit. I would definitely favor the over instead of picking a side in what could go down to the wire. This should go over the total. I think his good service game will help him hold serve enough times to keep this close and there is also a good chance that we see the upset or at least one set go the way of the German player.

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After his great run this week Balazs certainly shouldnt be underestimated but the Serbian will surely be extremely motivated to capture that maiden title, he has been almost only in ATP level events for around five years now and he would certainly love to add it to his resume. Lajovic has spent much less time on the court but he wont be undercooked as he also had to pull himself out of some sticky situations against Bedene and Caruso. Balazss Cinderella run was fantastic but if it goes the distance, having played six matches this week already might not be an advantage.

Last 10 A. Balazs

Balazs will try to stay on the aggressive side of things and hunt down easy balls at the net, which definitely is his forte. His backhand is pretty consistent but he lacks the ability to hit through it and often ends up resorting to the slice, which is probably where Lajovic will look for points off the baseline. The Hungarian bases his game on a loopy, top spin forehand a very good serve, which he often hits out wide to throw his opponents far from the court and hit into the open space.

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