Not too many exquisite ball shots in Seppi – Karlovic, but plain power. That’s what we expect tonight, starting 03:00 GMT, in the third round of the Australian Open. The question is – who will win?
Seppi – Is far from what we saw from his 4-5 years ago, but the 33-years old Italian still has some punch in him and now stands 76th in the men’s rankings. Andreas has a game based on his forehand and serve, but also produces a decent backhand stroke. Last season, didn’t won a single tournament, not even a Challenger, but reached a semifinal in Antalya (Turkey), on grass. Started 2018 in a brilliant fashion, with a trophy at Canberra (Australia). Had a somehow easy first round, against Moutet (France), 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, but afterwards I expected Seppi to have a lot to work for in his match with Nishioka (Japan), a very quick on his feet player, but who had just recovered after an injury that kept him away from the tennis court for almost 1 year. Andreas lost his serve once and won in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3, 6-4. Finished the match with 39 winners.
Karlovic – An unique presence in the tour at 38-years of age, Ivo dropped to 89th place in the ATP rankings. Didn’t played too much in 2017 and clearly didn’t get too many wins, with just one final, in S-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands), on grass. Skipped all competitions before AO, a wise decision considering his age. Got past Djere (Serbia) in straight sets, 7-6, 6-3, 7-6, serving 21 aces, but played the longest match of the Melbourne 2018 thus far against Sugita (Japan), an exciting thriller, 7-6, 6-7, 7-5, 4-6, 12-10., that lasted 4 hours and 37 minutes. Karlovic was on the board with 53 aces and 85% points won behind his first serve.
I think it’s pretty clear that we won’t have a meeting with long or intense rallies. Serve and volley from Karlovic and serve and maybe 1-2 shots from Seppi. H2H is 2-1 for Ivo and the interesting part is that we had a tiebreak in two of the three first sets between them two. But while we would be tempted to bet on this kind of market, we should consider how much time Ivo spent on the court at 38. Even if the match goes longer, the Italian will still be the favorite, the one that is more capable of producing something on the return.
Prediction: Seppi wins, odds 1.63
Seppi - Karlovic