First up, does Tennys Sandgren have the best name in tennis? He was clearly born to play tennis. That said, he has been a journeyman until last year, his break out year, where he had a good run in the Australian Open.
He has really been on form throughout the Auckland Open, particularly so in the quarterfinal against Mayer where he was belting out ace after ace and not letting Mayer even have a look on his serve. An impressive 11 aces and 83% first serve points won.
The aging Kohlschreiber, once a dominant player on the circuit, pulled off an upset when he beat the number 2 seed, Fognini yesterday. At 35, Kohlschreiber has the experience to play at this level, having won the tournament before. That said, his legs have been starting to let him down as the tournaments go on.
When these two met last year, Kohlschrieber won 6-2, 6-2 comfortably but this is going to be a lot closer affair, i expect. Sandgren has stepped up a level while Kohlschreiber is slowing down. That said, Kohlschreiber would still be the toughest opponent Tennys has faced this tournament and I expect his serves will have less bang for their buck against the German automaton.
The ML for Kohlschreiber starts at 1.44. I'm going to take him on the games handicap (not sets) for a little extra.
Pick: Kohlschreiber -1.5 games @1.538