Sydney R2 previews and predictions: Troicki vs. Lorenzi, Carreno Busta vs. Zverev

Two-time defending champion Viktor Troicki will be back on the court in Sydney when he faces Paolo Lorenzi on Wednesday. The full slate of second-round action also features Pablo Carreno Busta and Mischa Zverev.

Paolo Lorenzi vs. (3) Viktor Troicki

Troicki has won three ATP titles in his career. The last two have come at the Apia International–and in each of the last two seasons. Troicki’s quest to make it three in a row will begin on Wednesday in the aftermath of an opening bye as the No. 3 seed. The 29th-ranked Serb is coming off a second-round performance in Brisbane, where he defeated Yoshihito Nishioka before falling to Stan Wawrinka 7-6(5), 6-4.

Up first for Troicki is Lorenzi, whom he has never faced. The Italian, who lost his opening match last week in Doha to Nicolas Almagro, booked his spot in this contest by outlasting Florian Mayer 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(5) on Monday. Lorenzi is looking to build on a resurgent 2016 campaign in which he won 26 ATP-level matches, captured his first career title in Kitzbuhel, and climbed to No. 40 in the world (currently 41st). At this particular event, however, a confident Troicki should have the edge.

Pick: Troicki in 2

(4) Pablo Carreno Busta vs. Mischa Zverev

Carreno Busta and Zverev will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers on Wednesday. Their only previous encounter came last fall on the indoor hard courts of Metz, where Zverev prevailed 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-1. That was part of an outstanding–and most importantly healthy–2016 season for the 29-year-old German in which he successfully qualified for tournaments eight times in the last three months. Zverev, ranked 50th in the world, kicked off his 2017 campaign with a Brisbane win over Alex De Minaur before he got double-bageled by Rafael Nadal.

Whereas Zverev advanced on Tuesday by crushing Nicolas Almagro 6-4, 6-2, Carreno Busta earned the fourth and final bye as Sydney’s No. 4 seed. This marks the Spaniard’s first match of the year, and he has plenty of momentum on the heels of last season. Carreno Busta captured the first two ATP titles of his career (Winston-Salem and Moscow) and he currently registers at a career-high ranking of No. 30. This surface should suit Carreno Busta better for a meeting with Zverev than the one in Metz, so some revenge could be in the cards.

Pick: Carreno Busta in 3

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