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Ricky’s previews and picks for Tuesday in Adelaide, including Korda vs. Murray

There are a couple of blockbuster first-round matchups in Adelaide on Tuesday, which is not surprising at all given the strength of the draw. Andrey Rublev and Andy Murray are among those taking the court.

Here are my previews and picks for two of the best matches.

Roberto Bautista Agut vs. (4) Andrey Rublev

Bautista Agut is ranked No. 21 in the world, but that wasn’t high enough to earn one of the eight seeds at the Adelaide International. The result is a brutal opening draw against Rublev, and they will be squaring off for the eighth time in their careers on Tuesday. Rublev leads the head-to-head series 4-3 after taking two of their three encounters last year. The eighth-ranked Russian prevailed on clay in both Monte-Carlo and Rome following Bautista Agut’s early-season victory on the hard courts of Doha.

Rublev unofficially started his current season in the Middle East, finishing runner-up at the prestigious Abu Dhabi exhibition. The 25-year-old picked up good wins over Borna Coric and Carlos Alcaraz before falling to Stefanos Tsitsipas in three sets. Bautista Agut lost his first match at three of his last four tournaments in 2022, so the Spaniard may not be playing with as much confidence as Rublev. This could be straightforward.

Pick: Rublev in 2

Andy Murray vs. Sebastian Korda

Korda and Murray will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers on Tuesday. They previously faced each other this past fall on the hard courts of Gijon, where Korda got the job done 6-4, 1-6, 6-1.

Although Murray has done well to work his back into the top 50 (49th), he struggled a bit at the end of 2022. Following his setback against Korda, the 35-year-old Scot lost in the Basel second round to Bautista Agut and right away in Paris at the hands of a retiring Gilles Simon. Murray and Korda play a relatively similar style of tennis, but the 33rd-ranked American is 13 years younger and obviously moves a lot better. This is not a great matchup for Murray, so look for Korda to advance–but it probably won’t be easy.

Pick: Korda in 3

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