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ATP Melbourne Summer Set 2022: Men’s Singles Draw Preview, Analysis and Prediction

The 2022 Melbourne Summer Set will feature some of the biggest names in tennis like Rafael Nadal, Nick Kyrgios and Andy Murray.

Rafael Nadal, Nick Kyrgios and Andy Murray

One of the tune up tournaments to the Australian Open, the Melbourne Summer Set will commence from January 4 and will feature big names like Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Reilly Opelka and home hero Nick Kyrgios.

Tournament Details:

  • Tournament: ATP Melbourne Summer Set 2022
  • Date: January 4 – 9, 2022
  • Number of Entrants: 28 (Singles), 24 (Doubles)
  • Venue: Melbourne, Australia
  • Surface: Hard Court
  • Prize Money: $521,000
  • Defending champion: Jannik Sinner

Top Seeds at the ATP Melbourne Summer Set 2022

  • Rafael Nadal
  • Reilly Opelka
  • Grigor Dimitrov
  • David Goffin
  • Benoit Paire
  • Ilya Ivashka
  • Dominik Koepfer
  • Mackenzie McDonald

Men’s Singles Draw Analysis and Prediction

Top Half

Rafael Nadal

20-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal will begin his season at the Melbourne Summer Set and will headline the top half of the draw. He receives a first round bye and will face either a qualifier or Marcos Giron in the Round of 16. 7th seed Dominik Koepfer also finds himself in Nadal’s quarter and will open his campaign against Tallon Griekspoor. The winner will face one of Stefano Travaglia or Alexei Popyrin.

After getting a first round bye, 4th seed David Goffin will meet either Alex Molcan or Australian showman Nick Kyrgios. 6th seed Ilya Ivashka will lock horns against French veteran Richard Gasquet in the opener and will face the winner of an All-Australian encounter between Jordan Thompson and Christopher O’Connell. Either of Goffin or Kyrgios could face Ivashka in the quarterfinal.

First Semi-Final Prediction: Rafael Nadal vs Nick Kyrgios

Bottom Half

Andy Murray

Big serving American Reilly Opelka is seeded second and will headline the bottom half of the draw. He receives a first round bye and will face a qualifier in the second round. 5th seed Frenchman Benoit Paire too opens against a qualifier and is expected to face Kevin Anderson or Jaume Munar in the second round. Opelka and Paire are expected to meet in the quarterfinal.

Third seed Grigor Dimitrov is handed a first round bye and could face former World No.1 Andy Murray in a blockbuster Round of 16 clash. Murray will face Argentine Facundo Bagnis in the first round. 8th seed Mackenzie McDonald, Peter Gojowczyk, Adrian Mannarino and Botic van de Zandschulp are all placed in Dimitrov’s quarter.

Second Semi-Final Prediction: Andy Murray vs Reilly Opelka

Semifinals

Reilly Opelka

Top seed Rafael Nadal could face local favorite Nick Kyrgios in a thrilling semifinal clash. Given their past relationship, expect a lot of drama in the match. Nadal will start the favorite in the match but in no way he would rule Kyrgios off. The Australian thrives under pressure and loves giving it back to the Big 3. Expect a dramatic match with Nadal making it to the final.

In the second semifinal, Andy Murray will be up against second seed Reilly Opelka. Murray has been slowly getting in form towards the end of the 2021 season and he would want to kickstart the 2022 season on a positive note. As for Opelka, he would once again rely on his big serve. Expect Murray to use all his years of experience to cruise into the final.

Melbourne Summer Set Final: Rafael Nadal vs Andy Murray

Final

Rafael Nadal

Two old rivals- Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray will take the centre stage for the final showdown. Nadal and Murray have been two of the best players of the past decade but have struggles with injuries off late- one more than the other. They met a couple of weeks ago in an exhibition match at Abu Dhabi where Nadal lost to Murray in straight sets. To win again, Murray would want to replicate what he did in Abu Dhabi, i.e. attack Nadal’s serve and look for a big winner early on. Having said that, Rafa would be better prepared and could win the match comfortably if he keeps his serve in place.

Champion: Rafael Nadal

Also read: ATP Adelaide International 1 2022: Men’s Singles Draw Preview, Analysis and Prediction