The 2019 ATP Sydney International is beginning to reach its climax. Here are my predictions for the semifinals.
Diego Schwartzman vs Andreas Seppi
The first semifinal on Ken Rosewall Arena promises to be a very tough match to call. Both players have looked very strong this week, especially Seppi, who put in a brilliant display of tennis to defeat #1 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals in a tight three setter. Schwartzman also went the distance in his quarterfinal, needing a final-set tiebreak to defeat Yoshihito Nishioka. This is the first meeting between the players, and the rankings suggest that Schwartzman is the favorite. However, if the Italian serves as well as he did against Tsitsipas, then he will be very hard to stop. Seppi won over 70% of the points on both his first and second serve and fired down fifteen aces. This match promises to contain long rallies, with big serving from the Italian.
The match will be won and lost on whether Schwartzman can return Seppi’s serve effectively. If the Argentinian can get into the Italian’s service games early on in the match, then he will be strong favourite. In the rallies, it is evenly matched, however I give the advantage to Schwartzman in this area as he is a little more consistent than the Italian. I predict this to be a tight three set match with Seppi edging it.
Prediction: Seppi in 3
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Alex de Minaur vs Gilles Simon
Under the lights on Ken Rosewall Arena, the second semifinal between Alex de Minaur and Gilles Simon takes center stage. The young Aussie showed class and maturity in delivering a strong performance against fellow countryman Jordan Thompson in the quarterfinal. Simon, on the other hand, had a much tougher contest against John Millman. Their match that was moved to Show Court 1 because of the rain delay. Simon recorded an impressive victory in a final set tiebreak, in a match that finished in the early hours of Friday morning.
This match promises to showcase a contrast in style, with de Minaur looking to be aggressive and attack and the Frenchman looking to force errors from his opponent by consistently hitting up the middle of the court and taking the pace off the ball. De Minaur should be strong favourite in this match if he continues his strong form and carries out his usual game-plan. However, if he gets bogged down in the rallies by Simon, he will be forced to be patient and wait for his opportunity. Another factor will be the lack of pace on the ball from the Frenchman. This means de Minaur could be forced to generate his own pace, which could lead to over-hitting. However, I expect de Minaur to win in straight sets.
Prediction: de Minaur in 2
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