(The results for these finals have been included, and updated Changeover Staff Standings can be found at the bottom of this post – Amy has a nice lead after going 4-0 this weekend!)
ATP 250 – Auckland
Final: David Ferrer vs Philipp Kohlschreiber
Time: 8:00 PM ET – Friday, January 11th
Head to Head: 6-3, Ferrer
David Ferrer won, 7-6 (5), 6-1
Amy’s Pick: It’s hard to pick against David Ferrer. I think he wins this in a routine fashion.
Juan José’s Pick: What’s the best way to respond to a really random loss, like the one Ferrer suffered at the hands of the -briefly- resurgent Nikolay Davydenko last week? Winning a tournament, of course. Ferrer demolished Gael Monfils, who he had never beaten before, in the semis. I think he’ll do the same to Kohlschreiber in the Final, breezing through in straights.
Lindsay’s Pick: It’s pretty impossible to pick against Ferrer here, though I am glad Kohls is in a final at the beginning of the year. He’s always dangerous. But I say Ferrer in three.
ATP 250 – Sydney
Final: Bernard Tomic vs Kevin Anderson
Time: 3:30 PM ET – Saturday, January 12th
Head to Head: 1-0, Tomic
Bernard Tomic won, 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-3
Amy’s Pick: After an offseason of being criticized by virtually everyone related to tennis in Australia, Tomic is on a mission for revenge. In terms of determination and competitive level this week, I’ve loved what I’ve seen from him. Also working in Tomic’s favor is the fact that he’s beaten Anderson before when they met in Shanghai, in one of his best wins of 2011. I expect him to win his first career title in straight sets.
Juan José’s Pick: This has been a dream week for Bernie Tomic. Here is who he’s had to play en route to his first ever ATP final: Matosevic, Mayer, Nieminen and Seppi. And he plays Kevin Anderson in the final! Who, by the way, won his semifinal match against Benneteau in a third set breaker. Oh, and let’s not forget, Bernie is playing at home! Chances to win trophies don’t often come as neatly wrapped as this one, and all signs suggest Tomic should take advantage of it. However, Kevin Anderson will be looking for revenge against Bernie, given their 2011 encounter, and he does have some experience in finals (he’s won two and lost one). This experience will be helpful, and I think the South African will come through in the end, taking this trophy in three sets.
Lindsay’s Pick: Everyone is so all-or-nothing with Bernie. I remain skeptical that all of this is a huge sign of things to come. And I expect that he will have more nerves than people are expecting, even though he is on his revenge mission. I pick Anderson in three. He has looked fit and focused this week, and could be ready to actually make some noise this year.
WTA International Event – Hobart
Final: Mona Barthel vs Elena Vesnina
Time: 10:00 PM ET – Friday, January 11th
Head to Head: 1-0, Vesnina
Elena Vesnina won, 6-3, 6-4
Amy’s Pick: This is a tough one to pick. Vesnina crushed Barthel last year in Beijing, but Barthel has had a nice start to the year. I’ll go with Vesnina in three sets.
Juan José’s Pick: This is a fascinating pick. We have the defending champion (Barthel) against someone who not only is playing well, but destroyed her last year. That sounds problematic for Barthel, no? Well, there’s a problem: Vesnina is 0-6 in title matches. Is Elena Vesnina the female version of Benneteau? I have no idea. But I do know that her run to this final was way more impressive than Barthel’s, and that the double-breadstick win over the German just a few months ago will give her a lot of confidence. I say Vesnina wins in two emphatic sets.
Lindsay’s Pick: I have no clue what to say in this space. I actually love both of these girls but have been unable to catch any of their matches in 2013. It makes me sad that Vesnina has never won a title, and I would obviously like her to get one so she can then teach Benny how. But my gut is telling me Mona Barthel in straight sets.
Amy: 9-1 Matches with Correct Number of Sets Picked: 5
Lindsay: 7-3 Matches with Correct Number of Sets Picked: 5
Juan José: 7-3 Matches with Correct Number of Sets Picked: 5