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Dominic Thiem the man to beat at ATP Sydney International

Sun, Jan 8, 9:44am by Head Editor

World number eight Dominic Thiem, is the favourite to win the Sydney International – one of the marquee events heading into the Australian Open which begins in Melbourne next Monday, the 16th of January.

The 23-year-old Austrian is at $4 with Sportsbet has received a first-round bye and will begin his Sydney campaign in the second round against a qualifier.

Saturday’s draw ceremony at Apia International Sydney threw up some interesting first-round matches for the locals in the field.

Thanasi Kokkinakis, making his long-awaited return to singles, drew fellow Aussie wildcard and Brisbane doubles partner Jordan Thompson in round one. Thompson is at $26 and Kokkinakis at $36.

Either Kokkinakis or Thompson will face the winner of the interesting first-rounder between No.5 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber ($13 for the title) and Fabio Fognini ($21), the world No.49 who has been ranked as high as 13th.

Those matches are taking place in the bottom half of the draw featuring second seed Pablo Cuevas.

Like Thiem, Cuevas ($17) receives a free pass into the second round and there will face either Thomaz Bellucci ($36) or Nicolas Mahut ($23).

Rounding out the top four seeds are Pablo Carreno Busta ($13) – the fourth seed who could face Thiem in the semifinals – and defending champion and third seed Viktor Troicki.

Troicki, who is attempting to become the first player in the Open Era to win three Sydney titles in a row is second favourite at $9.50 and has also been granted a first-round bye.

He will meet either Florian Mayer or Paolo Lorenzi in the last 16 before a potential quarterfinal against Kohlschreiber.

Should the seedings hold, Troicki would face Cuevas in the semifinals.

Dangerous unseeded threats are scattered throughout the 32-player draw, including Dan Evans – a Brit who held match point against eventual US Open champion Stan Wawrinka at Flushing Meadows last year – and Fernando Verdasco, a former top 10 star who opens against eighth seed Marcel Granollers.

Both Verdasco who is equal second favourite at $9.50 and Evans ($41) have landed in Thiem’s quarter of the draw.

Also looming as threats are Alexandr Dolgopolov (who faces No.6 seed Gilles Muller in round one), another former top-tenner in Nicolas Almagro (the Spaniard faces Mischa Zverev) and rising British star Kyle Edmund.

Suggested Bet: Dominic Thiem to win: $4

Sportsbet Market

D Thiem $4.00

V Troicki $9.50

F Verdasco $9.50

G Muller $12.00

P Kohlschreiber $13.00

P Carreno Busta $13.00

K Edmund $15.00

B Paire $17.00

P Cuevas $17.00

A Kuznetsov $17.00

N Almagro $21.00

A Dolgopolov $21.00

F Fognini $21.00

N Mahut $23.00

J Thompson $26.00

M Zverev $31.00

T Kokkinakis $36.00

F Mayer $36.00

T Bellucci $36.00

M Granollers $36.00

M Klizan $36.00

D Evans $41.00

P Lorenzi $41.00

A De Minaur $56.00

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