The Brit is coming back to Doha for the third time, the first since losing to Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals in 2016, as a qualifier.
He beat the Serbian in their previous clash at ATP-level. In 2018, he completed a 7-5 6-3 victory in the second round at the Rolex Masters 1000 in Shanghai. The Brit No.3 had beaten Krajinovic also in the final of a Challenger event in Rome in 2016.
Edmund came off a disappointing season, as he compiled a modest 14-22 win-loss record, reaching the semi-finals in Eastbourne and the quarter-finals in Washington.
Given his slide down the rankings last year, the World No.69 selected Franco Davin as his new coach. The well-respected Argentine helped Juan Martin Del Potro win his maiden Grand Slam title at the 2009 US Open. Later he worked with Gaston Gaudioand Fabio Fognini before joining Edmund’s team after the 2019 Davis Cup in Madrid.
Krajinovic, who earned career-high 31 wins in 2019 finishing the season in Top 50, reached the third round for the first time in a major at 2019 Australian Open and repeated the same feat at Roland Garros.
In 2019, they won the same percentage of first-serve and second-serve points, although the Serbian was more efficient in facing and converting break-point chances. He hasn’t a preferred surface, but he plays fairly well on hard-courts.
Edmund needs to regain confidence in his beloved forehand to occupy the centre of the court and move his opponent behind the baseline. Krajinovic gives his best when he takes the initiative and knows how to seal the points as quickly as possible.
The World No.69 should try to push him back, to make him work harder as the 2017 Paris Masters finalist lacks patience and could easily over-hit to shorten the rallies.
Edmund will have to mix his trade-mark flat forehand winners with higher trajectories. He is expected to apply his plan A on serve, avoiding to hit first deliveries to the opponent’s body. He usually aims to the T, above all from the deuce side. Otherwise, he tends to choose booming serves out-wide from both sides to have an easier ball to attack with his next stroke.
The low level of self-belief, however, could make it hard to apply this strategy throughout the match.
Prediction: Krajinovic in three sets
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