The ATP Sydney Tennis Classic quarterfinals are here. Andy Murray faces David Goffin in a battle of the comeback veterans and Next-Gen star Brandon Nakashima is in full-flow. With Cressy and Lajovic still to complete their round of 16, we’ve made predictions for the three matches currently scheduled to take place on Day 4.
ATP Sydney Tennis Classic Day 4 Predictions
Aslan Karatsev vs Lorenzo Sonego
H2H: Karatsev 1-0 Sonego
Both Aslan Karatsev and Lorenzo Sonego hit the ground running in their first matches. Karatsev seems to have completely recovered from COVID and, against Baez, Sonego showed no signs of the early season rust he’d shown in his opener versus Hugo Gaston.
Let’s assume both players are playing close to the peaks of their powers. Sonego can boss opponents on most surfaces, his serve and his forehand in particular very difficult for anyone to live with (the forehand loses a little bit of its bite on hard-court, however). At the same time, Karatsev’s returns should allow him to bulldoze his way into winning plenty of Sonego’s second serve points. The Russian has a bit too much more going for him in this match-up.
Prediction: Karatsev in 2
Reilly Opelka vs Brandon Nakashima
H2H: Opelka 0-0 Nakashima
This is a very difficult match to call. Both players are definitely known for their service games over their return games, Brandon Nakashima having played (and won) four tiebreaks so far. Reilly Opelka not only served well against Jordan Thompson, he looked incredibly solid from the ground (much to Thompson’s chagrin).
It could go either way really but my gut feeling remains the same – if it came down to a couple of important rallies in a tiebreak, Nakashima’s backhand would be incredibly tough for the 6 ft 11 in American to break down. It really could go either way but I’ll side (tentatively) with the 20-year-old.
Prediction: Nakashima in 3
Andy Murray vs David Goffin
H2H: Murray 6-0 Goffin
For Murray fans, every match fills them with trepidation. No match-up is safe, the dogged Scot opting for the most complicated way through an opponent wherever possible. In a comeback with plenty of highs and lows, Murray has beaten plenty of high-quality players but hasn’t been able to capitalize on big wins recently with no semifinals to his name last year.
If ever there was a match-up to take advantage of in the quarterfinals of a tournament, it’s this one; David Goffin has played Murray six times and has lost 14 of the 14 sets played. It’s a brilliant match-up for Murray, the Belgian unable to hurt the former world #1 with any of his strengths at the height of his powers, let alone coming back from injury. In fact, it’s almost too good to be true, Murray the most comfortable with this opponent than any other left in the draw. I’ll go with the safe pick but wouldn’t be surprised if Murray makes a meal of the win.
Prediction: Murray in 2
Main Photo from Getty.