Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic hits a forehand to Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus during their women’s singles match at the Sydney International tennis tournament in Sydney, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic hits a forehand to Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus during their women’s singles match at the Sydney International tennis tournament in Sydney, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)|(AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Tennis

Tennis: Round of 16 picks from Sydney and Auckland ATP matches

You may have to stay up all night to watch them, but there’s a lot of great tennis Down Under

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

Tuesday/Wednesday Tennis Picks

Sydney ATP - Women
Round of 16

Petra Kvitova 8 (Czech) over Su-Wei Hsieh 28 (Chinese Taipei)
If Kvitova continues to play as she played yesterday over Sabalenka, I’d make her one of two or three favorites going into Melbourne. She lost weight and looks weak, but instead it just increased her quickness without sacrificing power.

Sydney ATP - Men
Round of 16

Stephanos Tsitsipas 15, (Greece) over Guido Andreozzi 80, (Argentina)
Tsitsipas is on his way towards migrating to the top tier of Men’s tennis. He’s young, smart, and can hit any shot at any time. He is a future Grand Slam Champion in the waiting and Andreozzi can’t hurt him on this surface at all.

Diego Schwartzman 19, (Argentina) over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 101, (Spain)
The dimunitive (5’7”) Argentine can do pretty much everything on the tennis court and he fights like he’s in a dogfight pretty much every time he’s out there. Garcia-Lopez played a workmanlike first round match in a win over Denis Kudla, but it won’t be enough against Schwartzman.

Alex de Minaur 29, (Australia) over Reilly Opelka 102, (USA)
This is a real treat as a Round of 16 match as in four or five years these guys could be playing in the Finals of a Slam. Opelka, who is 6’11”, can be overpowering but I think Minaur is more polished at this point. Watch for high-quality stuff and a tight three-setter, maybe even ending in a third set tiebreaker.

Auckland ATP - Men
Round of 16

John Isner 10, (USA) over Taylor Fritz 50, (USA)
This should be an entertaining match and could be extremely close, but Isner just doesn’t lose his serve. Fritz can also be overpowering, but Isner, at 6’10” has the edge.

Jan-Lennard Struff 58, (Germany) over Rubin Statham 360, (New Zealand)
The 6’5” German is playing well and should prevail over Statham. But Statham, who was born in Great Britain, lives in New Zealand, and likes to be called “Jose” so that South Americans will think he’s a clay courter, played really well in his first round upset of Hyeon Chung.

Philipp Kohlschreiber 34, (Germany) over Ugo Hembert 98, (France)
Kohlschreiber, who is 35, is still solid as a rock. He rarely loses to those ranked below him, and he won’t lose to the 20-year-old Frenchman here.

Fabio Fognini 13, (Italy) over Peter Gojowczyk 60, (Germany)
Fognini is one of the most fun male pros to watch. He’ll throw and kick his racket. He’ll yell and curse at the linesmen and umpire in two or three different languages. He’ll show every emotion he experiences. And in the middle he’ll play tennis like a cross between an artist and a genius. He’ll win . . . and entertain at the same time!

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