After a unique start to the 2021 ATP calendar, there is plenty to take away from Limak Arcadia Sports Resort in Turkey. Let’s look back on the event and the biggest takeaways leading into the Australian Summer of Tennis.
Alex de Minaur couldn't have had a better start to the 2021 season, claiming his fourth ATP title in Antalya in outstanding fashion. It was unfortunate that the World No. 23 didn’t get to play out the final as Bublik retired due to an ankle injury, but the Demon will take the title and rest up before heading to Australia. De Minaur looked to be the favourite for the title from the opening round in Turkey, playing aggressive and fast paced tennis throughout the tournament. The Aussie worked hard in his pre-season, and it is already paying dividends. With no ranking points to defend at this year’s Australian Open as well as a title already under his belt, de Minaur will land back home with an abundance of confidence. The 21-year-old showed he will be a force to be reckoned with in 2021, and this year may be the year the Aussie launches himself into the top 10.
Alexander Bublik is a player to watch in 2021
Alexander Bublik ended a very exciting week in disappointing fashion. The World No. 49 would be devastated he had to retire in the final, but it was the right decision considering he would face 14 days in a hotel with a limited chance to rehabilitate. His priority should be getting his body right for a Grand Slam. The last thing a player wants is to set themselves up for an injury prone year. The 23-year-old will take plenty out of his week in Turkey, especially after knocking off World No. 10, Matteo Berrettini. Bublik can cause some serious damage in 2021 and his showed us that early on in the year. Listed on the ATP’s website as “One to Watch in 2021,” the Kazakhstani showed us why. Depending on how his draw looks in Melbourne, don’t be surprised if we see him in the second week and competing against the big names on Rod Laver Arena.
Disappointment for Matteo Berrettini
World No. 10, and top seed Matteo Berrettini, would be extremely disappointed with his showing in Turkey. The Italian was looking for his first title since 2019 and his first ever on hard court and fell significantly short. After losing in the quarterfinal in straight sets to eighth seed and world No. 49, Alexander Bublik, Berrettini will head back the drawing board in order to be able to make an impact in Australia. The Italian will able to challenge himself against the world’s best at the ATP Cup before the Australian Open, but a hard-court title under his belt would’ve given him a world of confidence.
33-year-old Jeremy Chardy shows us he can still compete at a high level
After falling in three sets in the semi-final, World No. 72, Jeremy Chardy, proved to the tennis world he is by no means a walkover. It was the Frenchman’s first semi-final since Brisbane in January 2019. After beating fifth seed, Jan-Lennard Struff, Chardy will take an abundance of confidence heading into the Australian Open. Chardy has proved he is at Melbourne Park to compete and cause damage and not there to top up the retirement fund.
David Goffin will push for top 10 in 2021
Antalya was not so much about winning a title for Goffin, but rather regaining the form that propelled him to World No. 7. Working with new coach Germain Gigounon, this tournament was a trial for the World No. 16 to test out some new things before the big dance in Australia. Goffin told the media, “We’ve worked on small details. My technique is okay, but it’s been about motivation and going back to basics. I feel I have a solid game, but I’ve worked on moving better, taking the ball earlier and work on my serve.” Goffin gave Antalya a great crack and will head into Australia looking to build on what he is improving on.
New duo Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic flourish together
Mektic and Pavic are both weapons on the doubles court. The two of them both competed in the 2020 ATP Finals, but with different partners. “It’s a great start and couldn’t be any better, especially because it’s our first tournament together,” Mektic told ATPTour.com. The new partnership looks like they could be the team to beat in 2021, after starting the year in red hot form. Mektic and Pavic will look to claim the doubles title at the Australian Open and will be disappointed with anything less.