In 2019, Sydney Olympic Park will host the Sydney International as many of the world’s best look to find some form ahead of the Australian Open. The men’s draw will be headlined by a group of young talent in Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev and Alex De Minaur. Meanwhile, the women’s draw will see the world’s best on show with the top 2 in the world, Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber to take on the likes of Naomi Osaka, Sloane Stephens and Garbine Muguruza.
A tournament rich in tradition on the Australian tennis landscape, the likes of Margaret Court, Rod Laver, Martina Navratilova, Pete Sampras, Martina Hingis and Lleyton Hewitt have all been successful. In recent times, Roger Federer, Victoria Azarenka and Bernard Tomic have all managed to claim victory.
Daniil Medvedev and Angelique Kerber will look to defend their titles after victories in 2018 that involved the rise of two up and coming Australians. Medvedev was able to come back from a set down to beat impressive youngster Alex De Minaur, while Kerber was strong in defeating Ashleigh Barty. Both Australians went on to share the honours of the John Newcombe Medal.
This really shapes up to be quite a unique event and one I am really looking forward to. On one side we have no male top 10 players with plenty of exciting youth, and on the other we have one of the most exciting women’s draw yet. If you’re a Sydney local, jump on the T7 and catch the action, alternatively you can put the feet up, pop open the Neds app and enjoy those final days of holidays before the 5am alarm clock starts up once again.
From a spectator’s perspective, this shapes up as a fantastic week of tennis, but looking at all prospects leading into the Australian Open, this doesn’t shape up as an excellent lead-up with many struggling to back-up with much success at the Australian Open. History suggest this will affect the male players more than the females as they can often go 5 sets playing hours at times. Azarenka (2012) was the last to win the double and it would be a big task for those in the pointy end here to head to Melbourne and win 7 straight.
Alex De Minaur ($7.00)
Call me bias but this really shapes as a great opportunity for Alex De Minaur to claim his maiden singles title and what better way to do it then on home soil. Alex currently sits on the cusp of dropping out of the top 32 seeds heading into the Australian Open if he is unable to at least replicate his performance here last year and reach the final. With no major threat in the tournament, De Minaur looks well placed in the draw and looks a great chance to take this out.
Marton Fucsovics ($21.00)
At the pointy end of the market, Marton Fucsovics looks a knockout chance at decent odds having never played in the Australian heat at ATP level until last year’s Australian Open. There he was able to make to the round of 16, ultimately going down to none other than Roger Federer. Marton isn’t one to be ignored at the price.
Angelique Kerber ($4.50)
I’m an absolute sucker for this amazing woman and I probably give her too much credit sometimes, but this really looks like Kerber’s tournament to lose. There are the obvious questions of how she finished off with back to back losses in the Singapore finals last year against a couple of opponents here, as well as the question of where her mind is at with the Australian Open just around the corner. But to put it bluntly, she looks well suited here and will benefit from the early bye. The short odds don’t look overly exciting but it is hard to find anyone beating her.