Australian Open 2019, Day 7: Men’s singles predictions
There is a blockbuster line-up of round of 16 matches tomorrow at the 2019 Australian Open and it is fair to say there will be no shortage of quality.
So, here are the predictions of the men's singles matches on day 7 of the 2019 Australian Open:
Tomas Berdych vs Rafael Nadal
These are two players who were not given much of a chance to do well at this year’s Australian Open after succumbing to injuries last year.
Berdych has perhaps exceeded expectations after spending almost 6 months out of the game but he reached the final in Doha in the opening week and lost to an inspired Roberto Bautista Agut.
Nadal withdrew from Brisbane and decided to head straight to Melbourne and that move seemed to have paid off big time as the Spaniard is looking very sharp from the three matches he has played so far.
He took out Alex de Minaur in straight sets in his previous outing and that is a very excellent result considering how fast the Australian is on the court and the kind of form he is in.
I suspect Berdych will be too slow to keep up with Nadal. Though the Spaniard can be exposed from the backhand wing where he has not been very convincing in the opening week, but if the Czech tries to outhit Nadal, he will have to hit a lot more extra shots which will be his own undoing.
Berdych did beat Nadal when they last played here (in 2015) in what turned out to be the world no.2’s worst ever season on tour. I cannot see it happening again.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal to win in straight sets
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Roger Federer
Roger Federer has not been at his vintage best but he has been very clinical in closing out sets and matches. But this will be a real test for him against the dynamic Greek, Stefanos Tsitsipas.
It was not long ago when the two met at the Hopman Cup where Federer came out on top in two tiebreakers.
This will be another close affair especially if Tsitsipas can protect his serve with authority, something he failed to do consistently in his first three matches. Federer should win this, but he will need to raise his level to go through to the quarter-final.
Prediction: Roger Federer to win in four sets
Roberto Bautista Agut vs Marin Cilic
Marin Cilic survived a real scare against Fernando Verdasco in the previous round. He saved a match point as he fought back from two sets down.
Meanwhile, Roberto Bautista Agut is on a roll at the moment as he managed to knock out the rising Russian star Karen Khachanov in straight sets.
He is playing with such level of confidence that he can change the pace of a rally with just one shot. I would be amazed if Cilic wins given the form displayed by the Spaniard up to this point.
Prediction: Roberto Bautista Agut to win in four sets
Frances Tiafoe vs Grigor Dimitrov
Frances Tiafoe might have struggled to beat Andreas Seppi but I actually thought that was a very good result against an in-form player regardless of where the Italian lies in the rankings.
Seppi started the year so well as he defeated Tsitsipas in Sydney before losing to de Minaur in the final. Tiafoe also managed to claim a major scalp by beating Anderson earlier this week.
Dimitrov has been quietly going about his business so far. However, the problem with the Bulgarian is that on the back of one good result, he could massively disappoint in the next outing.
I think Tiafoe has nothing to lose here and is playing the tournament of his career. He has beaten Kevin Anderson and I think that is enough motivation if he ever needs one. I am going for the underdog to win this one.
Prediction: Frances Tiafoe to win in five sets