Sydney previews and predictions: Verdasco vs. de Minaur, Fognini vs. Dolgopolov

Alex de Minaur will be back in action following his semifinal run in Brisbane when he takes the court in Sydney against Fernando Verdasco on Tuesday. Meanwhile, second-round action is getting underway with a showdown between Fabio Fognini and Alexandr Dolgopolov.

(SE) Alex de Minaur vs. Fernando Verdasco

de Minaur more than doubled his previous lifetime ATP win total last week in Brisbane and he will look to maintain momentum at the Sydney International on Tuesday. The 18-year-old Australian had won just two ATP-level matches in his career heading into 2018 before reeling off straight-set victories over Steve Johnson, Milos Raonic, and Michael Mmoh. de Minaur put himself within one set of the title match before Ryan Harrison recovered to end the youngster’s run 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4.

Up first for the world No. 167 this week is Verdasco, who turned in a decent performance in Doha. The 34-year-old Spaniard beat Dudi Sela 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 before falling to eventual runner-up Andrey Rublev 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. This should be an entertaining affair, with a slight edge going to Verdasco based on his experience. de Minaur, who clearly felt the pressure after being on the brink of victory against Harrison, is making a quick turnaround on the heels of a breakthrough week in Brisbane.

Pick: Verdasco in 3

(4) Fabio Fognini vs. Alexandr Dolgopolov

Fognini and Dolgopolov will be going head-to-head for the sixth time in their careers at the ATP level when they kick off second-round action on Tuesday. Dolgopolov has won all five of their previous encounters and he is a commanding 10-1 in total sets at Fognini’s expense. The two veterans have not faced each other on a hard court since the 2014 Indian Wells Masters, where Dolgopolov parlayed his 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5) upset of Rafael Nadal into a 6-2, 6-4 rout of Fognini in the next round.

Those are not the only reasons to like the Ukrainian’s chances in this one. He is already 3-1 this season, with a quarterfinal performance last week in Brisbane followed by a 6-3, 6-7(6), 7-5 defeat of Viktor Troicki on Sunday in Sydney. Fognini, on the other hand, is contesting his first match of the year on the heels of an opening bye as the No. 4 seed. Moreover, the 27th-ranked Italian is 2-5 lifetime at this tournament (including one qualifying loss) with no trips to the quarterfinals.

Pick: Dolgopolov in 2

5 Comments on Sydney previews and predictions: Verdasco vs. de Minaur, Fognini vs. Dolgopolov

  1. Amazing De Minaut.I too thought he’d run out of steam by now but it was good tactical play ,mature performance for a 18 yr old.
    Don’t believe Fognini won,though..

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