Semifinal day at the ATP Sydney Tennis Classic looms after some enticing quarterfinals. David Goffin was forced to retire against Andy Murray, Reilly Opelka won a convincing match against Brandon Nakashima, Dan Evans saved a set point in the second set against a hobbling Maxime Cressy, and Aslan Karatsev outhit Lorenzo Sonego. The two matches scheduled are filled with the same promise of quality tennis. Here are our predictions for both of them.
ATP Sydney Tennis Classic Semifinal Predictions
Aslan Karatsev vs Dan Evans
H2H: Karatsev 1-0 Evans
This is potentially the hardest match I’ve had to predict this tournament. Dan Evans is in remarkable form – not only has he won all five of his singles matches in 2022, he’s won all 10 sets he’s played. The Brit is looking like one of the best players from the ground in the world at the moment and should not be underestimated.
Aslan Karatsev is no stranger to a challenge Down Under (his amazing run at the Australian Open last year saw him beat Diego Schwartzman, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Grigor Dimitrov in back-to-back matches). Evans and Karatsev’s match last year in Dubai is probably the yardstick for making predictions – Karatsev was able to attack Evans’ serve repeatedly yet the match came down to the wire. I think Evans is feeling steadier and more secure in his game than ever before, providing the perfect ingredients for an epic, but Karatsev’s returning ability will see him over the line.
Prediction: Karatsev in 3
Andy Murray vs Reilly Opelka
H2H: Murray 0-0 Opelka
After beating Goffin in the quarterfinals, this is another good match-up for Murray. Players that use aces to win cheap points have historically fared poorly against the former world #1; the top 20 active players with the most aces per service point are a combined 14-74 against Murray (16% win-rate for the acers). Murray’s returning will definitely give him an advantage against Reilly Opelka.
That’s not to say Murray can’t be flustered by a big-server every now and then, particularly in recent years when he hasn’t been at his best physically. Couple this with the fact Opelka is a decent baseliner and tactician and there’s no way this is a done deal. Murray’s been moving well, however, has been able to put some pop on the ball this week and will be incredibly motivated in his first semifinal in over two years. I’m backing Murray to fell the giant.
Prediction: Murray in 2
Main Photo from Getty.