These two veterans have already met 4 times in official matches. Feliciano Lopez has never yet managed to take a set from Kevin Anderson.
This is the first edition of the ATP 250 in Melbourne, which is played in the same facilities as the Australian Open.
These two players know these premises very well. They have indeed participated in the Australian Open on numerous occasions.
It should be noted that these two former students never really put on a performance in Melbourne. They never did better than a 1/8 final.
Also, it should be noted that they will be playing their first match of the season. So we don’t know their state of form and that could surprise many.
Finally, it is important to remember that Kevin Anderson had a few physical glitches at the end of last season. He dropped out at his last two tournaments (Vienna and Paris-Bercy).
It’s hard to imagine Kevin Anderson losing. The South African has never lost to Feliciano Lopez. Not to mention that at 39 years of age, Lopez is less and less capable of playing at the same intensity throughout a match (even though he still managed to surprise us last season).
The winner of this match will be first of all the one who will keep his service the longest. Lopez and Anderson are very good at this game.
Once the rallies are underway, I think Kevin Anderson will be able to do well. If his physique holds up, he’ll be able to make the necessary effort to counter the Spanish’s numerous runs to the net. The Spaniard, who should, as usual, slow down the game, will be able to deal with the aggressive forehand of the South African.
So I’m pretty excited about Kevin Anderson winning here. But let’s not forget that this is a rematch. There’s an indeterminate element (the state of form) that can tip the balance either way.
Prediction: Kevin Anderson wins