Murray River Open and Great Ocean Road Open

AP/Lee Jin-man, file

Murray River Open and Great Ocean Road Open

For those players who are not participating in the ATP Cup, there are two great 250 series tournaments for them to use as a tune up for the Australian Open. Both the Murray River Open, and the Great Ocean Road Open will take place in Melbourne on the grounds of the Australian Open.

Great Ocean Road Open

Out of the two tournaments, the one I’m most excited is the Great Ocean Road Open. The reason for my excitement is the fact that we’ll finally see the return of Nick Kyrgios into the tennis scene. Nick has been out of action since the pandemic began because of his concern for Covid-19. Before the pandemic it seemed as though Nick was finally getting his emotions in check during matches. If that trend continues, he will be making big noise in the months to come. He’s arguably the best server on tour and has a solid all-around game to complement it.

To go deep in this tournament, Nick will need to get through some tough competition. The top four seeds are Stan Wawrinka, Grigor Dimitrov, Felix Auger-Aliassime, and Borna Coric. Nick will most probably be seeded 8th behind Casper Ruud, Taylor Fritz, and Hugo Humbert. Most of these players were pretty active in 2020 and posted solid results. Expect to see Kyrgios make a deep run, along with Hugo Humbert and Borna Coric.

Murray River Open

The Murray River Open should bring some excitement as well. It boasts one of the breakout stars from 2020, Jannik Sinner. Sinner, who will be seeded 4th in this tournament, is expected to continue his ascent to the top of men’s tennis in 2021. For him to continue his rise, he’ll need to get through some tough players in this tournament. Along with Sinner, the top four seeds are expected to be David Goffin, Karen Khachanov, and Hubert Hurkacz. Another tough player that will be participating is Reilly Opelka, who will be seeded in the top 8. Reilly is big, strong, and holds a massive serve that is tough to break. All that being said, I expect Sinner to be in this final, against either Kachanov or Goffin.

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