Sydney Tennis Classic 2022: Men's singles draw analysis, preview & prediction

Andy Murray at the 2022 Melbourne Summer Set
Andy Murray at the 2022 Melbourne Summer Set
Namit Kumar

The 2022 Australian summer of tennis continues with the ATP tour moving to Sydney in the week leading up to the first Grand Slam of the year.

The draw of the Sydney Tennis Classic is headlined by Aslan Karatsev along with Nikoloz Basilashvili, Dan Evans, and Reilly Opelka. Also in the draw are veterans Fabio Fognini, Nick Kyrgios and Andy Murray, all of whom will be looking for their first title in over two years.

On that note, here's an in-depth look at how the draw at the Sydney Tennis Classic could unfold:

Top Half: Aslan Karatsev and Dan Evans make their 2022 debut

Aslan Karatsev at the 2021 San Diego Open
Aslan Karatsev at the 2021 San Diego Open

Seeded players: (1) Aslan Karatsev, (3) Dan Evans, (5) Lorenzo Sonego, and (6) Dusan Lajovic.

Expected semifinal: Aslan Karatsev vs Dan Evans.

Dark horse: Maxime Cressy.

Analysis: Top seed Aslan Karatsev will make his first appearance of the year in Sydney, following his triumphant run with the Russian national team at the 2021 Davis Cup finals.

Karatsev could take on Serbia's Miomir Kecmanvic or a qualifier in the second round, after which he is scheduled to take on fifth seed Lorenzo Sonego. The World No. 27 had an underwhelming end to his 2021 season, and will be looking to get back to the form that saw him reach the semifinals at the Italian Open and win the title in Cagliari.

Also in the top half is third seed Dan Evans, who is coming off an unbeaten run at the 2022 ATP Cup with Great Britain. Evans has already defeated Jan-Lennard Struff, John Isner, and Denis Shapovalov this year.

The Brit could take on local favorite Alexei Popyrin in the second round and sixth seed Dusan Lajovic in the quarterfinals should he qualify. Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Melbourne finalist Maxime Cressy are also in Evans's half of the draw.

Semifinal prediction: Dan Evans def. Miomir Kecmanovic.

Bottom Half: Andy Murray looks to gain momentum; Nick Kyrgios and Fabio Fognini meet in the first round

Nick Kyrgios (L) and Fabio Fognini
Nick Kyrgios (L) and Fabio Fognini

Seeded players: (2) Nikoloz Basilashvili, (4) Reilly Opelka, (7) Fabio Fognini, and (8) David Goffin.

Expected semifinal: Nikloz Basilashvili vs Reilly Opelka.

Dark horse: Andy Murray.

Analysis: Second seed Nikoloz Basilashvili will be looking to get his 2022 season off to a solid start. The Georgian has been handed a tricky draw though, taking on Andy Murray or a qualifier in the second round.

Murray was one of the star performers at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi last month. However, the Scot's 2022 debut in Melbourne last week was a disappointing one, losing in three sets to Facundo Bagnis.

Bagnis takes on eighth seed David Goffin in the first round, who is in desperate need of a good run of form at the moment ahead of the 2022 season.

Local favorite Nick Kyrgios and Fabio Fognini will face each other in the most notable first round match in the draw. Fourth seed Reilly Opelka features in their half of the draw. Opelka will be looking to redeem himself after an early exit in Melbourne. The American will take on either Jordan Thompson or Marcos Giron in the second round.

Semifinal prediction: Reilly Opelka def. Andy Murray

Prediction for the final: Dan Evans def. Reilly Opelka.

Also check out: Complete 2022 Australian Open Schedule of Play

Edited by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya
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