Jan 19, 2023

Australian Open Beanalysis: Round Two Day Two

You know what’s up, round three coming tomorrow. Enjoy!

Rublev vs. Ruusuvuori

Rublev is one of those players that I want to win extremely badly, but then he never does, it’s a daily struggle. I don’t exactly know what makes it to where he can’t win anything, but it just doesn’t ever work out for him. Maybe things will change with this fortunate draw. Rublev hasn’t been doing too hot in recent times, losing in round one in both Adelaide tournaments, and losing at Paris to the eventual champion Rune. It’s a new year though, and maybe things will change. I like Rublev here, but an Emil upset wouldn’t upset me.

EMIL! EMIL! EMIL! Emil has been a favorite of mine for a while now. If you’re a long time reader you might know that already. After many disappointments, nothing changed. I am not a bandwagon, please trust me. Emil has pulled off some good upsets, but none of them have been in BO3 format. I will say, Emil definitely possesses the ability to take a set. I don’t know if he can take two, but it would be a welcome surprise. I definitely know he won’t win. (sadly) My prediction is Rublev in 4.

Chardy vs. Evans

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS CHARDY?!?!?!?!? Seriously, where on earth did this dude go? This dude went further off the face of the earth than Shapovalov. This time, I wasn’t the one who bribed Elon. I don’t know who did, or how they managed to even find this guy, but now he’s back. What does this mean for us, besides that deep space survival is in fact possible? It means that he wins his first round, and then probably loses here due to complete lack of tour play, not even any challengers. I thought he retired, but I guess not. Anyway, if this was a final comeback tournament for him, I’m glad he got a win before going into retirement completely, if not, that’s cool too. I doubt he makes it much further though, because Dan Evans awaits him on the other side of the court.

Dan Evans, besides playing one of my favorite matches at last year’s USO against Cilic, and beating Lestienne over and over at the end of last year, hasn’t been at the forefront of my mind, or likely anyone else’s. But here we are, and now we’re gonna talk about him. I think Dan Evans is a good player, not good enough to win any slams, or really even a Masters, but I still think he can make some deep runs and have a successful career. That being said, he definitely possesses all of the advantages going into this match, besides experience. He has had more matchplay (obviously), more skill, higher ranking, and just generally in better form in my opinion. Barring injury, this match goes for sure to Dan Evans in 4. But hey, it was nice to see Chardy didn’t die in the vacuum of “everyone forgot you existed” space!

Kudla vs. Humbert

Kudla was supposed to be Kyrgios here, which would make this much more of an entertaining, and interesting match. I personally did not know Kudla did not have a main entry to this tournament. I’ve heard he’s been in a slump. Looking at his scores recently, that makes sense. I have no idea how this happened, but it did. Now we have Kudla who HAS NO HAIR?????? WHAT HAPPENED? DID I MISS A CHAPTER? Well past his new hair, or lack thereof, Kudla looks to be playing alright, and the win was quick, after a rocky start. I think for this match, he can play very well, as long as he takes the lead early.

Humbert has been thrust back into the challenger tour for most of last season, and he has made attempts at a comeback on the main tour, but he hasn’t done much there. He was playing great on the challenger tour, and I think it is for sure time for him to make his way back onto the main tour. I know Humbert hasn’t been doing much, but he’s looking pretty sharp. I think this match has the ability to make this match a thriller. I think the one that has the edge is Humbert. Humbert in 5

Cressy vs. Rune

Cressy has been less than good recently. I really don’t like the look of things for him, his play has been poor, and the results are showing it. He is basically a servebot but not as servebotty, so that isn’t that hard for Rune to counter. Cressy is just not in shape for this kind of challenge.

Rune has been the talk of the town recently. He went on a seed smashing run to the title in Paris. I had doubted him so much throughout the middle of last year. He had such a multitude of poor performances after Roland Garros, I had to just write him off all the time, but that all changed when he had three finals runs in a row, and then topped it all off with a title run in Paris. It seems that he’s taken this form into the new season, or at least I hope. My thing is, you can’t deny the previous results. Cressy can’t win this one. Rune in 4.

Carreno Busta vs. Bonzi

I think you all know what time it is. PCB TIME! If you’re new to my Beanasylum (the correct plural for Beanalysis.) (Since I made the term up, I get to decide the plural) I am PCB’s biggest fan. He is great, he has a masters 1000 title, and he is great. Anyways, PCB had Cachin in round one, and he beat him quite easily. PCB is looking mighty good here. He had a bit of a slow start, where Cachin was able to bully him around a bit, but he was still able to win all of his service games, and win the tiebreaker, which boosted his confidence enough to take the next set very easily, and then close out with a tight set, winning in a tiebreak. I think this for this match, Pablano needs to be in control for the first part of the match, and the rest will come easily.

Bonzi was the runner up at Pune, where Griekspoor took the title, and then he came out and beat Bellucci in round one here, so he’s obviously not playing around. The thing is though, PCB is really in form, and Bonzi is… well… not as in form as PCB. Maybe it’s the bias talking, but I have to pick the Masters 1000 winner over, Bonzi. PCB in 3 or 4

Mannarino vs. de Minaur

Mannarino has been pretty quiet since he dropped that title win at Winston-Salem, with his only wins on tour since then being 2 wins in Astana, and then his first round here. Pretty bad late season if you ask me. I think he definitely could go further if his draw was more fortunate, but it’s not. Demon won’t be generous here. Mannarino has a decent level of play, I just don’t have the courage to take him here.

Alex de Minaur has had an interesting career, being at the top when he was a junior, and a newbie to the pro tour, but then an injury has hindered him, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting his incredible comeback where he makes a deep run in a bunch of tournaments, it just has not happened. He did show some good stuff here and there, he just was never able to string it all together to have an incredible run. He of course did not get lucky with his draw here, getting PCB as a possible 3rd round, and then Djokovic in round 4, which is gonna be rough for him. But I will say, I hope the rest of his season goes well. For this match, it should go well for him, de Minaur in 3 or an easy 4.

Dimitrov vs. Djere

Grigor! My favorite Bulgarian player. (Also pretty much the only Bulgarian player) Grigor won the Canada Masters back in 2017, where he also went and won the tour finals. A great year that has never been repeated. We haven’t seen much from him on the hard courts as of late, only having a QF run in the Indian Wells masters last season, and some poor performances at the hard court slams. I think this one won’t be all too different. “Why?” You might ask. 1 word. Djokovic. Anyway, his draw was extremely unfortunate, but what can you do? I doubt he won’t make it to the next round, but progressing past that is gonna be a stretch.

Laslo Djere is the player that I had an entire odds comp resting on, and he blew it to a “wily old French veteran”. That doesn’t matter though, what does matter is that nothing of mine will be resting on him here. He has beaten some formidable opponents in the past few weeks leading up to this event, but it wasn’t anything too special, and the Ruud win last week can probably be attributed to Ruud wanting to not waste energy for the AO. I think Djere can for sure take a set off Dimitrov, if not make the scores in those sets very close. I think this one is gonna be Dimitrov in 4.

Couacaud vs. Djokovic

Who? Caucasus? The mountain range? Oh, Couacaud. I still don’t know who that is. Given that I don’t know who this guy is, and he’s playing Novak Djokovic, I think we can all come to the same conclusion. Novak wins this one easily. Couacaud has been on the challenger tour for the past year, and has qualified for the last three slams. He got bad round one matches in both of those two other slams, but here he got a good round one that he was able to win easily. Now, sometimes you might hear me refer to some matches as too much of a difficulty jump, but this is the mother of all difficulty jumps. Going from playing a 131 ranked guy to playing one of the greatest of all time is the craziest ramp up I’ve ever seen. Hey, I’d be happy to play against Novak, so I’m sure he’d be happy even if he lost 0-6 1-6 0-6. Speaking of, that’s about how I envision this match going. Novak in an easy 3 sets.

Fritz vs. Popyrin

TAYLOR SWIFT IS BACK BABY! Fritz has been too busy splurging with the royalties from the BreakPoint Netflix show to play any tennis recently, but that shouldn’t take away from the fact that he had an incredible season last year. I’d be writing for hours if I tried to list all of his accomplishments from last year, but 3 titles and some deep slam runs putting him into the tour finals should basically sum it up. In conclusion, Fritz is for sure going to be rearing and ready to go for this tournament, and I don’t think Popyrin can stop the TayTrain™.

Fritz had an amazing season last year, but what about Popyrin? digs through files “ummmmm” more digging “uhhhh…. Oh wait! Here’s a tournament win! Oh, it’s… a challenger.” Well, needless to say, there was nothing there worth anything. I think that really tells us all what we need to know. Fritz takes this one easily, probably in 3, unless his start is rough, in which case he might drop a set. So Fritz in 3 or 4.

Shelton vs. Jarry

IT’S EVERYONE’S FAVORITE RUUDBUSTER! Ben Shelton is fresh out of the NCAA, and ready to go, he’s been grinding out some challengers after beating Ruud at Cincinnati last year, and at the very end, he won three in a row, and now we’re here. He got extremely lucky here, with Jarry taking Kecmanovic out and all. I’m not sure what this means for Shelton, though, because that easy of a win against a seed would be concerning to anyone. cough cough “McDonald” cough cough Anyway, Shelton is looking promising for this year, but I’m not a hundred percent sure he wins this one, having just had a close encounter with Zhang, barely winning in a last set tiebreak.

Jarry has been stuck on the challenger tour, with much less success than Shelton has had. I think Jarry is definitely not as good as Shelton on a purely skill based level, but there are the factors of fatigue for Shelton, and then Jarry just having crushed Kecmanovic. I’m not really sure what to make of this one. I feel like Shelton should win this one, but also the Kecmanovic win rubs me the wrong way about this match. I think that might make this one much closer than it should be. I’m thinking Shelton in 4, but if Jarry can drag it to 5, he could probably win due to Shelton’s fatigue.

Schwartzman vs. Wolf

Ooh, looking at the lines of this match confirms my thoughts, Wolf has a pretty darn good shot at winning this one. And I’d never forget what a wise turtle once told me, “BET ON WOLVES” I think we can all agree that the stars are aligning here. But let’s take a gander at why this is the case. Schwartzman is good at playing tennis, if by tennis you mean clay courts, and only clay courts. It’s getting noticeable that the only thing he’s good at is clay, his results on the clay are great, and everything else is just trash. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t foresee him changing it that quickly. All in all, Schwartzman isn’t looking too good to win here.

I have a good friend named Jeffery John, his last name isn’t as cool as Wolf though. Anyway, Wolf has beaten much much better players than Diego, so I’m gonna say that has a lot to do with the line here. It also proves that wise turtle’s point when he said “BET ON WOLVES”. Anyway, if you don’t take anything else away from my writeups, you should at least take away that, in my own words, “Wolves are just as good as RuudBucks™” You should also take away that this match is going to Wolf in 4.

Mmoh vs. Zverev

I’m pretty sure there was a character in the “Tennis Champs Returns” game for the Amazon Fire TV that had this name. Mmoh, by the looks of it, is just about ready to start his journey on the pro tour, having won 5 challenger titles, and making the second round here, he for sure looks ready to play and advance at some of the lower level tournaments. I think his run is gonna end here though, Zverev is just way too much for him right now, or at least that’s what I think.

Zverev is finally back after half a year of being off the tour because of his injury in the semis at RG. That’s cool. His ranking surprisingly stayed pretty high, even when he lost the points from Cincinnati and USO last year. Zverev had a tough loss in the fourth round here last year, but I think this year he can make up for it, his draw looks prime for him at this point, and I think he could make a run for it. But right now, it looks certain that Zverev wins in 3 or 4.

Murray vs. Kokkinakis

OH WOW! Murray was up 2 sets to 0 when I stopped checking scores to go to sleep, and then when I woke up, I realized I missed an epic of a match. Murray absolutely deserved that win, it being his first top 20 win since 2016, making this even more crazy. It just goes to show the greats never really go out of contention until they retire. The sheer magnitude of this feat makes me want to immediately back him to win this match, but of course we must be patient, because we need to look at that purple guy over there that wants to disintegrate half the population with some stones.

Kokkinakis was unable to defend his title at Adelaide last week, whether or not that was because of wanting to prepare for the AO, I don’t know. What I do know is that he seems to have been more interested in doubles after the title win at the AO last year. His singles results have been less than desirable, but his doubles results have been pretty good. His showing at the Tour Finals was great too. I think crowd support can get him to probably take a set or two off of Murray, but I don’t really see him winning the whole match. I’m thinking Murray in 4 or 5.

Holt vs. Bautista Agut

Let’s go Brandon! But not political, this time we’re actually cheering for a guy named Brandon. Maybe not, if you’re from Spain. Either way, Holt is most widely known for being a good friend of Fritz’s, and then beating him last season at the US Open in the first round before crashing in the second. He hasn’t really done anything since then, and it’s not looking like that’s gonna change. Because like basically every other non seeded player at this point, there’s a seeded player on the other side of the court.

RBA won the title at Doha last year, but that’s about all I can remember off the top of my head. Oh, he won Kitzbuhel as well? Hmm, guess it slipped my memory. His larger tournament performance was forgettable though, so that makes sense. I don’t know about this one, my brain is telling me to go with RBA, but this also feels like a match that wouldn’t surprise me if there was an upset. I don’t really see how it would happen though. Maybe I’m overthinking it. But I just feel like Holt wins this one. I’m gonna have to go with Holt in 5.

Davidovich Fokina vs. Paul

Huh, two Spain vs. America matches in a row. Wacky. Now, this is a match I’m interested in, I don’t have a clear look at it, so I’m gonna have to dive deep for this one. ADF’s match started extremely strong, and fast. He wasted no time bageling Bublik. I think during sets two and three, Bublik really settled in, and got into the groove, winning those two sets. Fokina was able to outhit the in-form Bublik to win the fourth set, and then it was a battle of skill and will to win the final decider set. Fokina eventually edged Bublik out, taking the win. His extremely fast and hard pacing on the balls, mixed with these ludicrous speed courts made a deadly combo in the end, especially with fatigue put in as well. Overall, a great match and a great playing style, I really enjoyed watching those highlights. Anyway, we’d have to see what Paul brings to the table to fully make a call here.

Paul seemed to have also come out of the gate swinging hard, but it looks like Struff wasn’t able to get comfortable, I think that it was because there was a good balance between offensive and defensive play from Paul, and that made it to where he couldn’t just return the offensiveness and win a couple sets and try to vie for the match. I think this is going to be critical in this match as well, as ADF also doesn’t have as much defense, meaning Paul can play more balanced when he needs to, and then go full offensive when he gets the upper hand. This makes the decision clear. Tommy Paul in 4 sets.

Brooksby vs. Ruud

Brooksby is a decent player, but he lost to Alcaraz at the US Open last year so quickly, it’s hard to think he’d do anything to Ruud, who made it much more difficult for Alcaraz to beat him. Brooksby is kind of a servebot as well, making him much less viable to win this match. Ruud on the other hand, is not a servebot, and he makes much better of a player than Brooksby. Being a 2 time slam finalist, as well as the runner up at Miami last year makes this match look very obvious, because it is. Ruud in 3, basically as easy as Alcaraz beat him last year at the USO.