Following his fantastic performance yesterday in his second round match against Jerzy Janowicz, Alexandr Dolgopolov will now face defending champion Bernard Tomic for a spot in the semi-finals of the Apia International in Sydney. The head-to-head stands at 5-1 in favour of Dolgopolov.
While his opening contest against eighth-seeded Spaniard Marcel Granollers was a quick affair, Australian no. 2 Bernard Tomic had a much tougher fight on his hands on Wednesday with the Slovenian Blaz Kavcic, who pushed him to three sets before Tomic prevailed 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. The Australian began the 2013 with his first ATP World Tour Title here in Sydney but since failed to live up to expectations and collapsed throughout the year. The issues with his father/coach did not do him any favours either, but he has promised to fix those errors this season. Having surrendered the no. 1 ranking in Australia to Lleyton Hewitt this week, Tomic will be motivated to build momentum ahead of the Australian Open in order to boost himself back into the top 50 in the Emirates ATP rankings.
Dolgopolov has not dropped a set since arriving in Sydney, as he defeated Edouard Roger-Vasselin after he retired following the first set, and Jerzy Janowicz, whom he demolished 6-2, 6-2 on Wednesday. The world no. 55 struggled during the 2013 season but has managed to build up momentum in Australia with the win over the Polish no. 1 and will likely be brimming with confidence when he faces Tomic tomorrow.
Of their six previous meetings on the tour, the Ukrainian leads the head-to-head series 5-1, including three wins on hard courts. They have twice battled in Australian Open warm-up events, with Dolgopolov prevailing both in Brisbane and in Sydney. Tomic’s only victory over Dolgopolov came at the 2012 Australian Open, where he defeated him 4-6, 7-6(0), 7-6(6), 2-6, 6-3.
Prediction: Alexandr Dolgopolov in Straight Sets