ATP Auckland Final Predictions: Cameron Norrie vs Tennys Sandgren

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The final of the 2019 Auckland Open is a toss-up between an American who first made his mark this time last year and an Englishman whose 2019 is off to an incredibly positive start.

Cameron Norrie vs Tennys Sandgren

Cameron Norrie may not have had high hopes for his year after a 6-1, 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Roger Federer at the Hopman Cup. Even against a legend of the game like Federer, that kind of loss can be dispiriting. But, one of the many advantages of the Hopman Cup is that it ensure the players who choose to participate will play matches thanks to its round robin format. Norrie quickly righted himself and went on to dispatch American rising star Frances Tiafoe in the singles, and acquit himself admirably on the doubles court.

He will face another American, Tennys Sandgren, in the final of the Auckland Open. Sandgren does not have the weapons Tiafoe does, but he is a crafty player who made his way to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open last year. He has also played some excellent tennis in Auckland, especially in his semifinal against former Auckland champion Philipp Kohlschreiber.
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Norrie has the bigger shots of the two, and likely the greater chance of a serious rise up the rankings in the coming year. The tennis he produced to roll through Taylor Fritz and battle his way past Jan-Lennard Struff displayed a new level of maturity and confidence. If Norrie produces at the level he demonstrated in the quarter- and semifinals, he will be tough to beat. Sandgren will have to hope for a little inspiration and that he can use his court-coverage to put pressure on Norrie when finishing points.

Norrie’s inexperience could also play a role as he has never played a tour-level final before, nor made a run at a major tournament. Sandgren is not a perennial finalist, but has challenged for 250 titles before. His run at the Australian Open also gave him big match experience. The final could be a thriller with Norrie’s slightly superior on-court abilities and Sandgren’s razor thin mental edge.

Prediction: Norrie in 3

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