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  • Tomic, Seppi square off in Apia International semifinals

    1/10/13 5:43 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Tomic, Seppi square off in Apia International semifinals Bernard Tomic continues his Sydney run against Andreas Seppi on Friday. The winner will go up against either Julien Benneteau or Kevin Anderson in the title match.

    Bernard Tomic and Andreas Seppi will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers when they do battle in the semifinals of the Apia International on Friday. Their only previous encounter came on the grass courts of Queen's Club in 2010, when Tomic prevailed 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.

    Both players are much-improved since then. For Tomic, that comes as no surprise because he is still just 20 years old. For Seppi, however, the blooming has come relatively late--and unexpectedly to many--in his career.

    The 28-year-old Italian had a career-defining stretch of tennis on clay last spring. He reached the quarterfinals of the Rome Masters, thrilling home fans along the way, then reached the fourth round of the French Open before losing to Novak Djokovic in five sets. Seppi, registering only one spot off his career-high ranking at No. 23 in the world, has dismissed John Millman and Marcel Granollers so far in Sydney.

    Tomic is in blistering early-season form. The Australian upset Djokovic at the Hopman Cup but is making a much more important statement in Sydney. His march to the last four has featured victories over Marinko Matosevic, Florian Mayer, and defending champion Jarkko Nieminen.

    The rallies in this one should be extremely long, but not necessarily grueling. Tomic and Seppi offer similar playing styles, often content to play offspeed tennis from the back of the court despite being able to pull the offensive trigger when necessary. Tomic has more offensive weapons, but Seppi is far more experienced in the latter stages of ATP events.

    This could go either way. Tomic in three entertaining sets is the pick.


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