Date: 3 February 2021
Tournament: Great Ocean Road Open 2021
Round: Second round (Round of 32)
Venue: Melbourne, Australia
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $382,575
Match timing: Approx. 12 pm local time, 6.30 am IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Jannik Sinner vs Aleksandar Vukic preview
Jannik Sinner is all set to kick-start his 2021 season with a second-round match against Australia's Aleksandar Vukic on Wednesday, at the Great Ocean Road Open.
Seeded fourth at the newly-minted tournament, Sinner received a bye in the first round. The Italian would now be fancying his chances against a relatively unheralded opponent.
Vukic largely competes on the ITF and Challenger circuits, and has contested a fair few finals at those levels. A vast majority of the 24-year-old's big results have come on hardcourts, a surface where he seems to be the most comfortable.
Vukic has made steady progress over the last few years and is currently ranked 195th in the ATP rankings. The Aussie made his Grand Slam debut at the French Open last year, but was unable to get a win.
In fact, the first ATP tour win for Vukic came just a couple of days ago at the Great Ocean Road Open. Playing in front of his home fans at Melbourne Park, Vukic took out Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei in straight sets.
The performance would have certainly boosted the 24-year-old's confidence levels ahead of his meeting with Jannik Sinner.
Jannik Sinner vs Aleksandar Vukic head-to-head
This will be the first career meeting between Jannik Sinner and Aleksandar Vukic, so their current head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Jannik Sinner vs Aleksandar Vukic prediction
Playing at the Adelaide exhibition last week, Jannik Sinner faced defeat at the hands of the Serbian duo of Filip Krajinovic and Novak Djokovic. He will be looking to shrug off that disappointment and start the new season on a positive note.
Against Vukic, Sinner has the perfect opportunity to test his range. The two have never played each other before, so they might take some time to gauge each other's game.
The start will be even more crucial for the Australian because he cannot afford to let Sinner settle into his groove. The Italian has plenty of experience playing on the big stage already, and should have enough in the tank to register a win.
Prediction: Jannik Sinner to win in two tight sets.