At the ATP Sydney Tennis Classic, many top-ranked players are taking part, given the rest of the field are competing to qualify for the Australian Open–there is plenty of potential for an exciting tournament. We’ve got two prediction articles covering four matches apiece taking place on Day 2, including Alexei Popyrin’s first round clash with Pedro Martinez and recent Melbourne finalist Maxime Cressy’s match against French veteran Adrian Mannarino. The other article looks at Andy Murray’s continued comeback.
ATP Sydney Tennis Classic Day 3 Predictions
Alexei Popyrin vs Pedro Martinez
H2H: Popyrin 0-0 Martinez
Though some might have Pedro Martinez pegged down as a clay-courter, his game actually transfers smoothly over to hard-courts. With a big serve and heavy forehand, the guy is definitely playing tennis worthy of the ATP-Tour and deserves his ranking spot in the top-70 in the world.
Alexei Popyrin is much like Martinaz in many ways–the same strengths in his game, only a couple of years younger, only ranked a couple of spots above Martinez. When it’s all working, however, Popyrin has just got that little bit extra on his shots, having already beaten Dominic Thiem, Jannik Sinner, Grigor Dimitrov and Stefanos Tsitsipas on the surface. The Aussie should edge the percentages on home soil.
Prediction: Popyrin in 2
Miomir Kecmanovic vs Stefano Travaglia
H2H: Kecmanovic 0-1 Travaglia
There is some hype surrounding Miomir Kecmanovic but I don’t buy into it just yet. The Serb takes after Djokovic with a stunning backhand and return but frequently fails to piece everything in his game together to win the biggest matches. Couple this with the fact his recent form has taken a nosedive (five consecutive losses, one against Kukushkin having held multiple match points) and it’s difficult to see him getting through this with ease.
Where there is hype surrounding Kecmanovic, it’s probably not a stretch to say that Stefano Travaglia is quite underrated. It was early 2021 when he put together his best results of the season, reaching the final of the Great Ocean Road Open beating Hurkacz and Bublik along the way. Though he does come into this match as a lucky loser having lost to Christopher O’Connell in qualifying, I think Travaglia will be able to take advantage of Kecmanovic’s poor form of late.
Prediction: Travaglia in 3
Jiri Vesely vs Brandon Nakashima
H2H: Vesely 0-1 Nakashima
The last time Jiri Vesely and Brandon Nakashima met, the first set was very tight and the second set was all Nakashima. My bold prediction for this match is that one thing will change – the first set won’t be tight.
Vesely is a solid player capable of causing players issues with his left-handedness and his big serve. He could potentially make a dent with that first serve but from the back of the court, Nakashima should be the winner the vast majority of the time. His insanely good backhand totally neutralises his opponent’s lefty advantage and he should rattle through his own service games. I don’t see Nakashima going down easily in this tournament, let alone in this match.
Prediction: Nakashima in 2
Maxime Cressy vs Adrian Mannarino
H2H: Cressy 0-0 Mannarino
The rankings system isn’t always a clear representation of player-form. Adrian Mannarino went on a nine-match losing streak last year ranked within the top-40 in the world. Late last year, he finally caught a hint of a second wind – as his ranking spiralled to outside the top-50, he beat Andrey Rublev in Moscow. Though the Frenchman is now ranked outside the top-70 for the first time since 2016, that win shows how difficult he can be to beat on his day against any given opponent.
Unfortunately, Maxime Cressy isn’t any given opponent. The 6’6 ” American reached his first final in Melbourne and isn’t likely to be feeling shattered given his serve-and-volley style of play. Mannarino’s strengths will be completely taken away from him on return against an in-form player ranked below him–two tight sets maybe given Cressy might find it similarly difficult to break but I can’t see Mannarino winning.
Prediction: Cressy in 2
Main Photo from Getty.