Rising stars Alex de Minaur and Felix Auger-Aliassime headline the Adelaide International draw as players get one final chances to fine-tune their games this week before the Australian Open.
ATP Adelaide Tournament Information
Dates: January 13-18, 2020
Category: ATP 250
Total financial commitment: $610,000
Singles Draw: 28
ATP Adelaide Seeds
1. Alex de Minaur ??
2. Felix Auger-Aliassime ??
3. Andrey Rublev ??
4. Pablo Carreno Busta ??
5. Taylor Fritz ??
6. Cristian Garin ??
7. Jan-Lennard Struff ??
8. Reilly Opelka ??
ATP Adelaide Ranking Points
Second Round: 20
First Round: 0
ATP Adelaide Draw Preview
— Adelaide International (@AdelaideTennis) January 11, 2020
Projected quarter-final: Alex de Minaur (1) vs Reilly Opelka (8) – H2H: De Minaur leads 4-0
After an impressive week at the ATP Cup for Australia in Brisbane and Sydney, top seed De Minaur heads to Adelaide in search of his fourth ATP title. The Aussie picked up his maiden ATP title in Sydney this time last season and will be among the favourites to prevail in Adelaide this week, especially after the form he displayed during the ATP Cup, where he beat Alexander Zverev and Denis Shapovalov before pushing World No. 1 Rafael Nadal to three sets in the semi-finals.
De Minaur has a bye in the opening round before facing the winner of Albert Ramos-Vinolas and compatriot Jordan Thompson for a place in the quarter-finals. If he does make the last eight, De Minaur wouldn’t mind seeing the giant-serving Opelka across the net – he beat the American in all four of their meetings last season and matches up well against him. Opelka takes on Pablo Cuevas in his opener, and if he wins that, would face either Aljaz Bedene or a qualifier.
Predicted semi-finalist: De Minaur
Projected quarter-final: Pablo Carreno Busta (4) vs Cristian Garin (6) – H2H: Carreno Busta leads 2-0
Neither Carreno Busta or Garin have gotten the start they would have wanted in singles to launch 2020. While Carreno Busta is part of the Spanish ATP Cup team that’s advanced to the final, his involvement has been limited to doubles, while Garin lost all three of his matches for Chile in straight sets – although he did come up against strong opposition in Novak Djokovic, Kevin Anderson and Gael Monfils.
Carreno Busta benefits from a bye as one of the top four seeds and starts his campaign against the winner of French veterans Jeremy Chardy and Gilles Simon, while Garin gets underway against a qualifier before a possible clash with either Laslo Djere or rising Australian wildcard Alexei Popyrin.
I think this is a great draw for Popyrin to do some damage and make the quarter-finals, but taking out either one of Carreno Busta, Simon or Chardy to make the semis will be tough. Still, it’s a nice draw for the youngster and I’ll back him to take advantage of it.
Predicted semi-finalist: Popyrin
Projected quarter-final: Andrey Rublev (3) vs Taylor Fritz (5) – H2H: Never played at ATP level
Rublev is coming off a title triumph in Doha to kick off his 2020 season and has actually won nine of his last 10 matches in all competitions dating back to November last year. The Russian, in my opinion, would be pushing for a top 10 spot if not for various injuries that sidelined him for extended periods over the last couple of seasons, but he’s fit and firing and I don’t think he’ll have to wait long to knock down that particular door.
But, I do wonder if Rublev will be able to recover from the long flight from Doha to Adelaide and go deep once again. A bye in the first round certainly helps, with Rublev beginning his campaign against Sam Querrey or a qualifier. Meanwhile, Fritz – who lost two of his three matches at the ATP Cup for USA – starts against the unpredictable Alexander Bublik before a second round duel with Dan Evans or Juan Ignacio Londero.
Evans was in superb form for Great Britain in the ATP Cup last week, and if he plays to that level, I think he’ll make the final four.
Predicted semi-finalist: Evans
Projected quarter-final: Felix Auger-Aliassime (2) vs Jan-Lennard Struff (7) – H2H: Struff leads 1-0
Auger-Aliassime has experienced an extremely tough start to 2020, losing three of his four ATP Cup matches for Canada, including a 1-6 4-6 defeat to Struff in Brisbane.
The 19-year-old’s only win came against someone ranked outside the top 400, so suffice to say it hasn’t been the ideal start to the year. Auger-Aliassime starts with a bye and faces the winner of wildcard James Duckworth or a qualifier to make the quarter-finals, which is just about the best draw he could have hoped for.
However, Struff could be waiting for him again. The German, one of the best active players not to have made an ATP final, has a tough opening round against veteran Fernando Verdasco, and if he wins that, would face either Pierre-Hugues Herbert or wildcard Alex Bolt in the second round.
It’s a great chance for everyone in this section, but I’m going to lean with Struff powering his way into the semis.
Predicted semi-finalist: Struff
De Minaur def. Popyrin
Evans def. Struff
De Minaur def. Evans