Bernard Tomic is on the verge of defending his Apia International title but standing in the way of a successful title defence is world number five Juan Martin Del Potro. Join us for live scores and commentary from 7.30pm AEDT.
Tomic’s performance tonight against Del Potro should provide fans with a key glimpse as to whether or not the Australian is a chance of upsetting Rafael Nadal in the opening round of the Australian Open next week.
Tomic will certainly have to be at his aggressive best if he is a chance of upsetting a player capable of matching the very best the ATP tour has to offer.
On his day, Del Potro can beat anyone. His forehand shot is generally recognised as the biggest shot in the men’s game, capable of blowing any player off the court.
In the Shanghai Masters last year, Del Potro bullied Nadal into submission en route to a straight sets victory that ranked as one of the most impressive performances from any player on the ATP tour last year.
If he shows up with that type of form tonight, Del Potro will be very difficult to defeat.
Tomic however remains a solid bet of upsetting the Argentine given that Del Potro can struggle to hit top gear in his matches.
Despite making the final this week, Del Potro has rarely gotten out of first or second gear and is not hitting the ball with the power that usually sees him ranked as a real darkhorse in grand slam tournaments.
In short, Del Potro usually starts his matches slowly and this is where Tomic needs to pounce.
The Australian has to come out playing aggressive and deny Del Potro the opportunity to settle into any rhythm, particularly from the forehand side.
If Tomic can break early and employ his strong forehand, Del Potro is known to lose his way in matches when momentum is against him.
Like most players in the top five on the ATP rankings however, Del Potro is a master front runner and will put Tomic away if he races out of the blocks, especially if he finds his range early with the forehand.
With both players in good form, this should be a very entertaining final with plenty of winners from both players.
While Tomic will certainly rise to the occasion in front of a big crowd, Del Potro’s experience in finals may see him play his best here en route to victory.
Del Potro in three sets.