Connect with us
[smartslider3 slider="2"]


PREVIEW: 2024 Men’s Australian Open – Selected second round matches – 18 January

The second round of the Men’s Australain Open continues on Tuesday 18 January. Damien Kayat previews Tommy Paul vs Jack Draper and Grigor Dimitrov vs Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Grigor Dimitrov - Australian Open

The second round of the Men’s Australain Open continues on Tuesday 18 January. Damien Kayat previews Tommy Paul vs Jack Draper and Grigor Dimitrov vs Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Jamie Moore's Diary - jockey talks Goshen and Ascot rides

2024 ATP Tour
Grand Slam Tennis
Aussie Open
Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia 
Selected Second Round Matches- 18th January

Tommy Paul 5/8 | Jack Draper 5/4

Tommy Paul will feel massively disappointed that he wasn’t able to win a title last season. The American won 47 out of 75 matches during the season, reaching finals in Acapulco and Eastbourne. He would also go on to reach his first Masters 1000 semi-final in Toronto towards the end of the season.

But his highlight of the campaign was undoubtedly his heroic run to the semi-finals of this event. Paul defied the odds, using his excellent footwork and all-court game to great effect. He started this season with a quarter-final run in Adelaide (where he ran into a certain young British player). But he looked really assured in his opener against Frenchman Gregoire Barrere.

He needed only 90 minutes to overcome Barrere and he will be going into his 2nd round match feeling quite invigorated. I’m not sure the same can be said about his next opponent: Jack Draper.

22-year-old Brit Jack Draper was one of my pre-tournament dark-horse picks. Draper hits the ball powerfully off both wings and he moves deceptively well for such a tall guy (almost like a British Seb Korda). The lanky Englishman has become one of the new poster boys of men’s tennis and he looked set for a huge 2023 campaign.

But a sequence of injuries seriously hampered him and he was forced to miss many of the crucial events. But he ended the season in fine style, reaching his maiden ATP Final at the Sofia Open before a strong fourth round run at the US Open. And he started this season in excellent fashion, reaching a second consecutive final in Adelaide.

However, it’s hard to know what to expect from Draper following his draining five-set comeback win over Marcos Giron. The extreme heat wore him down and he suffered through stomach cramps and fits of vomiting.

I’m just slightly concerned that the Brit- who has a history of injury issues in his young career- may be compromised by that herculean effort.

Verdict: Tommy Paul 5/8

Draper leads the head-to-head with Paul 2-0. He just recently beat the American in Adelaide, breaking the American four times in the process. There is little doubt that Draper has the higher ceiling of the two players. But Paul’s uber-consistent hitting and superior durability should give him the edge here. 

Grigor Dimitrov 2/13 | Thanasi Kokkinakis 9/2

Bulgarian Girgor Dimitrov is enjoying an overdue period of sustained success on the ATP Tour. The former World No.3 started to find his range towards the end of last season, reaching the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters before a brilliant run to the Masters 1000 final in Paris.

And he has just carried that form into this season, winning his first title in six years at the Brisbane Invitational. He suffered a minor hiccup in his opener against Marton Fucsovics, needing to come back from a set down to get the job done.

But he looked more impressive as the match went on and he will feel confident that he can make a deep run this year. Dimitrov is a three-time quarter-finalist here and also a former semi-finalist. He will be looking to extend his current six-match winning streak against local favourite Thanasi Kokkinakis.

27-year-old Thanasi Kokkinakis has never fulfilled the massive potential he showed as a junior. The big-serving Aussie has enjoyed very sporadic success on tour, earning a reputation as a dangerous lurker in the early part of draws.

This was exemplified at the 2018 Miami Open, where he beat Roger Federer to become the lowest-ranked player to beat a World No.1 in 15 years. He seemed to regain something in 2022, winning his maiden ATP title in Adelaide as well as the Aussie Open double’s title alongside good friend Nick Kyrgios.

But he fell off again due to a combination of poor form and numerous injuries (injuries have been a recurring theme in his career). But he is fresh off a mini upset, taking down Sebastian Ofner in a tight fifth-set tiebreak. Can he ride the wave of generous home support and pull off a massive upset here?

Verdict: Dimitrov to win in four sets at 2/1

This will be the first career meeting between these two. The enigmatic Kokkinakis has the power-based game to really thrive on these surfaces. He just commits too many errors and doesn’t have good in-game management. But that doesn’t mean he can’t pick up a set in this encounter. Still, Dimitrov should have the class and court craft to see off the Aussie in four.

Jamie Moore's Diary - jockey talks Goshen and Ascot rides
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Tennis