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 Murray’s continued comeback against Durasovic and Next-Gen star Alejandro Davidovich Fokina’s first round against Dusan Lajovic. The other article looks at Maxime Cressy vs Adrian Mannarino, among other matches.
ATP Sydney Tennis Classic Day 3 Predictions
Federico Delbonis vs Albert Ramos-Vinolas
H2H: Delbonis 6-2 Ramos-Vinolas
There are many similarities between these guys; clay-court specialists, left-handed, ranked #42 and #44, both with pretty woeful records on hard-courts throughout their careers. Delbonis unfortunately comes across slightly worse of the two players on hard, however, having lost his last 17 matches against top-100 players on the surface.
Sure enough, I am going to give ARV the slightest of edges. Delbonis relies on his leftiness to unpick his opponents in a rally more so than the Spaniard, arguably with a little less power on his forehand too. His serve could get him a set but the slightly more accomplished of the two players will go on to win the match.
Prediction: Ramos-Vinolas in 3
Christopher O’Connell vs Sebastian Baez
H2H: O’Connell 0-0 Baez
A difficult one to call. Up until, recently I’d have went with Christopher O’Connell over the form player for sure, the Australian’s game well equipped for fast matches on hard-courts. He had a smattering of decent wins last year beating Jan-Lennard Struff in Australia and Jannik Sinner in Atlanta.
What makes it more complicated is how well Sebastian Baez played at the NextGen ATP Finals. The Schwartzman comparisons are justified and I could see his hard-court game developing into something very similar to his if the backhand continues to improve. I’ll go with my gut, even though Baez could find a way to make getting over the line mighty tricky.
Prediction: O’Connell in 3
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina vs Dusan Lajovic
H2H: Davidovich Fokina 0-1 Lajovic
Dusan Lajovic had quite a poor season last year by his standards. From Miami to Rome, he sustained six consecutive losses (most of which were on his favoured clay) and suffered other tough losses along the way, Borna Gojo at the Davis Cup perhaps being his hardest to stomach. His three losses at the ATP Cup make it look more than likely he still isn’t back to his best, his match against Garin ending prematurely due to cramping issues.
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina has had more success for his age on hard courts than Lajovic and has taken seriously impressive scalps for the surface including Hubert Hurkacz (twice), Roberto Bautista Agut, Karen Khachanov and Marin Cilic. The Spaniard has the bigger set of weapons between the two – against an out-of-form, potentially injured opponent, ADF should take it.
Prediction: Davidovich Fokina in 2
Andy Murray vs Viktor Durasovic
H2H: Murray 1-0 Durasovic
Andy Murray’s comeback continues but after last week, it’s difficult to know where the bar should be set. Facundo Bagnis is yet to beat a top-100 player on hard-courts yet he overcame Murray in three sets. Hopefully we can chalk the loss down to the transition period between him and his new coach, Jan De Witt, as he tried (and repeatedly failed) to be more aggressive with his forehand. Murray will probably persevere with his coach’s new tactics so if he fails to execute properly… Murray kept his match against Bagnis fairly close even if he was playing badly by his standards so he could likely afford a scrappy match against Durasovic, ranked #345 in the world.
At the same time, though the Norwegian lost all his matches at the ATP Cup, he will benefit from the time on-court, showing this by coming through two rounds of qualifying in Sydney. He was also able to keep one of the sets incredibly tight in him and Murray’s last match in Stockholm – he’s not to be completely disregarded. If Murray is playing well, expect a rout. If he isn’t (which I’m expecting), it’ll be a drawn-out affair with Murray still managing to come out on top.
Prediction: Murray in 3
Main Photo from Getty.