ATP Sydney Tennis Classic Final Prediction: Andy Murray vs Aslan Karatsev

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The final at the ATP Sydney Tennis Classic is to be contested between Andy Murray and Aslan Karatsev. Murray was close to his best against 6’11” in Reilly Opelka, whilst Karatsev came through a three-hour epic against Dan Evans despite failing to convert any of his three match points in the second set tiebreak. Will it be title #3 for Karatsev or #47 for Murray? Here’s our prediction.

ATP Sydney Tennis Classic Final Prediction

Andy Murray vs Aslan Karatsev

H2H: Murray 0-0 Karatsev

Andy Murray versus Aslan Karatsev in an ATP final. If I’d told you this was on the cards a year ago today, you’d have been within your rights to dismiss me. Here we are though and both players have made plenty of progress from the start of 2021.

Karatsev possesses huge shots on either wing–when he’s on, he can be very difficult to hang with. As he did to his previous opponents, Karatsev will be able to jump on Murray’s second serve with his spectacular returning skills. He’s not particularly weak in any other area of his game either.

However, just as quickly as Karatsev can hit a purple patch, he can come crashing down to Earth. His match against Lorenzo Sonego an indication his tennis can go missing for periods of the match. Murray is the best in the business at bringing out the worst in his opponents, showcasing this against a bigger hitter this week in Nikoloz Basilashvili. Murray will be looking to get under the skin of the Russian, sending returns back to his feet and extending rallies with some deep, heavily sliced backhands (to the same effect as Dan Evans).

I see this going one of three ways, depending on Murray’s serve.

  1. Just as he did against Opelka, Murray hits his spots on his first serve and grinds out a couple of crucial breaks for a solid straight sets win.
  2. Murray takes the scenic route, missing enough first serves to give Karatsev a set (but he still wins in three).
  3. Murray has a dire serving day and Karatsev walks the match.

The Brit has made a career out of countering big hitters like Karatsev, especially ones that are prone to wobbles in performance. But he’s got to take care of his own serve… His tournament performance so far leads me to believe option 1 is the correct one to back.
Prediction: Murray in 2

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