PREVIEW | 2023 Astana Open Final as KORDA aims for first title since return against MANNARINO

ATP
Tuesday, 03 October 2023 at 12:32
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After a challenging year, Sebastian Korda finds himself in an ATP final again and will face Adrian Mannarino in the title match at the Astana Open.
Route to the Final – Sebastian Korda:
Following a tough year, Sebastian Korda (25th) had a lengthy three-month absence due to an injury suffered in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, just two weeks after reaching the final of the Adelaide Open.
While he has been inconsistent since his return, this week he showed that he is on the right track, advancing through a challenging path in Astana. He secured victories over Alexei Popyrin, Nuno Borges, Tallon Griekspoor, and Hamad Medjedovic.
In the semifinals, he survived a tight three-set battle where Medjedovic pushed Korda to the limit. Korda eventually clinched the victory with a score of 6-7(8), 7-6(2), 7-6(3). This marks Korda's sixth final on the Tour, with one title and five runner-up finishes. It presents a new opportunity for him to lift a trophy, the first since the 2021 Parma Open.

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Route to the Final – Adrian Mannarino:
Experienced Mannarino continues to have a strong season, having already won one title and reached a final. He has also maintained a position above the top 40 for the past few months.
The Frenchman lost only one set on his way to the final, defeating Arthur Rinderknech, Alibek Kachmazov, Jurij Rodionov, and Sebastian Ofner. Mannarino, at 35 years old, is playing in his 14th career final, with three titles and ten runner-up finishes. He particularly excelled on grass this year, claiming the Newport Open title and finishing as the runner-up in the Mallorca Open against Christopher Eubanks.

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Head to Head – Korda vs. Mannarino
The Astana final will feature an unprecedented clash, as contenders Korda and Mannarino have never faced each other in a match. However, they arrive with notable differences in court time.
Korda played three of his four matches that went to three sets and encountered six tie-breaks so far, winning four of them. The North American logged a total of eight hours and 51 minutes on the court in the last four days, with nearly three hours spent in the semifinals.
On the other hand, Mannarino played for 7 hours and 9 minutes, and his last match lasted only one hour and 10 minutes, which is less than half of Korda's match.
Nevertheless, Korda has shown physical strength and comfort on hard courts. If he maintains his physical condition, the outcome of the match may depend on the performance of the young American, while Mannarino will rely on his strong serve.
Prediction – Korda in three sets

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