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Tennis Insider Ricky Dimon’s Picks For Tuesday’s Australian Open First-Round Men’s Singles

Rafael Nadal launches his quest for a record-extending 21st Grand Slam title at Melbourne Park. EPA-EFE/DAVE HUNT

By Ricky Dimon

The 2021 Australian Open is finally off and running! Now we move on to Day 2, when Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Andrey Rublev will be among those taking the court. Will we see more upsets then we did on Day 1?

Ricky makes his picks for the top players in action and the best matchups.

Rublev over Hanfmann in 3 – There may not be any unseeded players in the draw who would take a set off Rublev right now. Hanfmann is no exception.

Monteiro over Martin in 4 – In a matchup between two clay-courters, Monteiro is far more competent on hard courts.

Lopez over Tu in 5 – Even at his advanced age, Lopez will be way Tu good and have way Tu much experience…. Okay, I’ll see myself out now.

Sonego over Querrey in 4 – This is a matchup between two ball-bashers. At the moment, Sonego has more confidence and more consistency (which isn’t saying a lot).

Medvedev over Popsisil in 4 – This will be closer than expected…which also isn’t saying a lot.

Thompson over Ruud in 4 – This one all comes down to the surface. On a hard court instead of clay, Thompson has the edge.

Paul over Basilashvili in 3 – There’s no other way to say it; Basilashvili is one of the worst players in the entire draw given his current state.

Popyrin over Goffin in 4 – Popyrin reached the third round last year. With a struggling Goffin as his nearest seed, there is no reason why he can’t do it again.

Fabio Fognini in action during the ATP Cup at Melbourne Park. EPA-EFE/DAVE HUNT

McDonald over Cecchinato in 3 – It’s kind of surprising that Cecchinato actually bothered going through quarantine to play a hard-court Grand Slam.

Coric over Pella in 3 – Peak Pella could make this a good one, but peak Pella hasn’t been seen since the summer of 2019.

Tsitsipas over Simon in 4 – Tsitsipas is getting night-session treatment in Rod Laver Arena. He generally thrives on the big stage.

Kwon over Kokkinakis in 5 – Kokkinakis may not win, but it would be a moral victory if his body lasts five sets.

Van de Zandschulp over Alcaraz in 5 – This should be a fun one between BVZ and CAG. You might as well just flip a coin.

Hurkacz over M. Ymer in 3 – Mikael is the better Ymer brother, but he still isn’t good enough to seriously trouble Hurkacz.

Berrettini over Anderson in 4 – Anderson is not anyone you want to face in round one, but Berrettini is up to the task based on what he showed at the ATP Cup.

Herbert over Fognini in 4 – Bernard Tomic, Benoit Paire, and Fognini are basically pick-against-no-matter-what kind of guys. Herbert won’t even half to do anything special.

de Minaur over Sandgren in 4 – One thing’s for sure: this will have the most entertaining rallies of the day.

Nadal over Djere in 3 – If Nadal is close to 100 percent, he will roll. And if Nadal is well less than 100 percent….he will roll.

Ricky contributes to
10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.