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Ricky’s preview and picks for this week’s ATP 250s in Adelaide and Pune

The 2022 ATP tennis season is here. Pretty much all the stars have already arrived Down Under with the Australian Open only a couple of weeks away, either currently playing in the United Cup or gearing up for the Adelaide International. Also in the opening-week schedule is an ATP 250 in Pune, where former champion Marin Cilic is the top seed.

Adelaide International

Where: Adelaide, Australia
Prize money
: $642,735
Top seed: Novak Djokovic
2022 champion: Gael Monfils (not playing)

ATP 250s don’t get any better than this. Roberto Bautista Agut is ranked 21st in the world and is not even seeded. Eight top-20 players are in the field of 32: Novak Djokovic, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Holger Rune, Jannik Sinner, Denis Shapovalov, and Karen Khachanov. Both Djokovic and Medvedev are in the top half of the bracket, so that is a potential semifinal showdown. Medvedev has a tougher path to get there, as he opens with Lorenzo Sonego, could meet Miomir Kecmanovic in round two, and is on a quarterfinal collision course with Karen Khachanov.

Another potential quarterfinal is Auger-Aliassime vs Rune, a matchup that we saw twice this past fall (they split meetings in Basel and Paris). Rublev and Sinner are on a path to square off in the last eight, but the eighth-ranked Russian was dealt a terrible draw: Roberto Bautista Agut in the opening round and either Andy Murray or Sebastian Korda in the last 16.

Quarterfinal picks: Novak Djokovic over Denis Shapovalov, Daniil Medvedev over Jack Draper, Andrey Rublev over Jannik Sinner, and Felix Auger-Aliassime over Holger Rune

Semifinals: Djokovic over Medvedev and Rublev over Auger-Aliassime

Final: Djokovic over Rublev

Tata Open Maharashtra

Where: Pune, India
Prize money
: $642,735
Top seed: Marin Cilic
2022 champion: Joao Sousa (not playing)

Pune won’t get much of the spotlight this week when so much is going on in Australia, and an unspectacular field of 28 doesn’t help. World No. 17 Marin Cilic is the No. 1 seed, and then you have to scroll all the way down to No. 35 Botic van de Zandschulp and No. 40 Emil Ruusuvuori to find the next entrants. Eighth and final seed Aslan Karatsev would just barely have made it into the Adelaide draw.

Cilic, who won this tournament twice when it was in Chennai (2009, 2010), is coming off a resurgent 2022 campaign that firmly cements his status as title favorite. The 34-year-old Croat should not have much trouble advancing his way through the bracket, although you never know what you are going to get from potential quarterfinal opponent Nikoloz Basilashvili on any given day. Fourth seed Sebastian Baez ended last season in a considerable slump and is not at his best on hard courts. Meanwhile, the top contenders in the bottom half of the draw are Van de Zandschulp and Ruusuvuori.

Semifinal picks: Marin Cilic overTim van Rijthoven and Emil Ruusuvuori over Laslo Djere

Final: Cilic over Ruusuvuori

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