Join us on our ATP Sydney tournament analysis that takes place this week. Find out who is the undeniable favorite, the main contender and also the player to keep an eye.
The world no.8 – Dominic Thiem – is the top seed and undeniable favorite to win the title in Sydney. Dominic is the only top 10 player in action this week while all the others are already heading to Melbourne to prepare the Australian Open. However, it's not surprising to see Thiem in Sydney since he's famous for his outstanding record on ATP 250 events. In 2016, the Austrian ended the season with three ATP 250 titles and two other finals on this tournament level.
Looking now to Dominic's draw, the Austrian shouldn't experience any problems on his debut against Gastão Elias. Thiem won all the previous two meetings between them and even though both matches went to distance, this time Dominic should get the job done in straight sets.
Fernando Verdasco is the biggest threat on Thiem's quarter and the two might face in the quarter-finals. Despite Verdasco's outstanding performances last week in Doha – losing only against Novak Djokovic after missing 5 match points – the Spaniard is one of the most inconsistent players on the ATP World Tour. Therefore, it wouldn't be surprising to see Fernando losing in the first rounds. However, even if Verdasco makes it into the quarter-finals Thiem should be too strong for the former world no.7.
In the semi-finals, Thiem might face another Spaniard – Pablo Carreno Busta. Even though clay is Carreno Busta's favorite surface, the world no.30 clearly improved his level on Hard Court throughout 2016. Despite Pablo's improvements, Thiem clearly holds the edge over this opponent with a 3 – 0 lead on the h2h.
Sydney is without any doubts a special place for Viktor Troicki. The Serbian holds a remarkable 12 – 0 record over the last two years in Sydney and is looking for his third consecutive title on this event. Since he's one of the four highest ranked players in Sydney, Troicki only starts his campaign in the 2nd round.
Troicki should start his journey against Florian Mayer, a player who won four of their previous six meetings. Despite Florian's undeniable talent and lead on the head-to-head, Viktor is currently at a higher level and his consistency should be too much for the German to handle.
Looking now to Troicki's potential opponents in the quarter-finals, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Fabio Fognini are the biggest threats on the Serbian's path. Curiously, both players also lead by 4 – 2 on the h2h and it won't be easy for the defending champion to defeat any of these two players.
Even though we believe in another great run from Troicki, it's hard for us to trust on him. With so many tough match-ups ahead of him, the best for now is to avoid placing any bet on Troicki's outright market.
Player to keep an eye
After struggling with several physical problems in recent years, Nicolas Almagro is still trying to return to his best level. The Spaniard ended 2016 inside the top 50 with his best result in Estoril where he won his 13th career title.
Known for his aggressive baseline game and powerful groundstrokes, Almagro is always a fearful opponent. Nicolas showed that last week in Doha, losing only in the quarter-finals against Andy Murray by 6 – 7 5 – 7.
Almagro starts his campaign in Sydney against Mischa Zverev in a match where he's the underdog at +102 at Pinnacle. Although Mischa is always a tricky opponent with his serve & volley game style, Almagro is clearly the right play and his betting odds present tremendous value. Therefore, Nico is the player to keep an eye on this event.