The 2018 Sydney International tennis tournament puts Sydney in the spotlight. January is a month when the nation of Australia celebrates its tennis heritage and its deep association with the sport. Both the ATP and the WTA participate in this tournament, giving it an extra measure of buzz. Having both tours also parallels the coming fortnight in Melbourne. It’s a tennis happening in Sydney. We’re not going to see many big names at this event. Don’t expect to see the likes of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray or Novak Djokovic. They’re all gearing up for the 2018 Australian Open. The top seed at this event will be Albert Ramos-Vinolas will be the top seed. That means bettors are going to have to do their homework to figure out who are the best bets on a daily basis.
The competition in the 28-player main draw will begin on Sunday, January 7.
Event: ATP Sydney International
Category: ATP 250 Series
Date: January 7-13, 2018
Location: NSW Tennis Centre – Sydney, Australia
With a prize money allotment of nearly $469,000, this tournament makes it worth it for ATP pros to get tested with match play in advance of the Australian Open. The specific purse represents an increase of roughly $19,000 from the 2017 figure. The prestige of the event is important to the locals in Sydney, but for the players, what matters is tuning up their games before the first major tournament of the year.
Championship – 250 points.
Runner-up – 150.
Semifinal – 90
Quarterfinal – 45
Former Champions and Results (5 Years)
Year Champion Runner-up Score
2017: Gilles Muller def. Dan Evans, 7-6, 6-2
2016: Viktor Troicki d. Grigor Dimitrov, 2-6, 6-1, 7-6
2015: Victor Troicki d. Mikhail Kukushkin, 6-2, 6-3
2014: Juan Martin del Potro d. Bernard Tomic, 6-3, 6-1
2013: Bernard Tomic d. Kevin Anderson, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3
Albert Ramos-Vinolas is the top seed at this tournament. He made his first Masters final in 2017 in Monte Carlo, and will try to expand his improvements to hard courts. This tournament will give him a first test and measurement of his capabilities. He has lost his only match so far this season. Last year, he was just 33-30 on the main tour draw with a sub standard 8-12 record on the hard courts. He is more of a clay-court specialist as he was 22-13 on clay last year and 19-13 the year before.
Second seed Gilles Muller is the defending champion in Sydney, where he won his first career ATP title last year. Muller enjoyed his best season, highlighted by a quarterfinal run at Wimbledon, where he defeated Rafael Nadal in an epic fourth-round match that went deep into an extended fifth set. Muller can still play attacking tennis, and that is the style he needs to play to have any reasonable chance of success. He’s lost his only match so far this season. However, Muller was 32-18 on the hard courts last season while going 13-9 on hard courts.
Diego Schwartzman is another player coming off his best season. The 2017 campaign was successful for the pocket-sized Argentine because he made his first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the U.S. Open. He also reached a Masters quarterfinal in Montreal and played well at other events on tour. Schwartzman can hit very aggressively from the baseline, and last year he did better at refining his strokes. He will try to continue momentum this season.
Fifth seed Adrian Mannarino made the fourth round at Wimbledon and became a player who consistently played two to three rounds into many of the tournaments he entered in 2017. His slappy groundstrokes have become firmer and more solid. He covers the court better and stays in points with more tenacity than before. He is not the easy out he used to be two to three seasons ago.
NSW Tennis Centre
This facility is known and remembered as the site of the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympic tennis tournament. Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Venus Williams won gold medals. A Swiss teenager named Roger Federer finished fourth in the men’s tournament. This is a venue with a history in Sydney, the established host site of this stop on tour.
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