RICKY’S PICKS | PREVIEW FOR THIS WEEK’S ATP TENNIS IN CHENGDU AND SHENZHEN

Written by: on 23rd September 2018
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RICKY'S PICKS | PREVIEW FOR THIS WEEK'S ATP TENNIS IN CHENGDU AND SHENZHEN  |
Photo by @ChengduOpen via Twitter
By Ricky Dimon

 

The Asian swing is going to get good, trust me; you simply might have a hard time believing it based on the upcoming events. Prior to much bigger and better tournaments in Beijing (500 points), Tokyo (500 points), and Shanghai (Masters 1000), 250s in Chengdu and Shenzhen will share center stage on the ATP World Tour. Zero top-10 players are in action, although Andy Murray, David Goffin, and Stefanos Tsitsipas at least give Shenzhen some intrigue. Meanwhile, in Chengdu Fabio Fognini and Hyeon Chung are the top two seeds.

 

Chengdu Open

Where: Chengdu, China
Points: 250
Top seed: Fabio Fognini
2017 champion: Denis Istomin (not playing)

Chinese fans cannot be particularly thrilled about this draw. One, it just isn’t any good in terms of overall quality. Two, there are four Asian players in the field, with two (Yibing Wu and Ze Zhang) having to go head-to-head right away and the winner to meet another one (Chung) in round two. Assuming the South Korean passes that test, he could run into either Gael Monfils or Bernard Tomic in the quarterfinals before possibly colliding with Adrian Mannarino, Joao Sousa, or Marcos Baghdatis in the semifinals. Monfils began his Asian swing with a Challenger title in Kaohsiung on Sunday afternoon.

A softer top half of the draw could see fellow Italians and St. Petersburg doubles winners Fognini and Matteo Berrettini face each other in the quarterfinals. Nikoloz Basilashvili is the only player in particularly stellar form at the moment, but the Georgian will likely have a difficult opener on his hands against either Sam Querrey or Guido Pella. Expect the top-half semi to feature either Fognini or Berrettini against either Basilashvili, Querrey, or Pella.

Semifinal picks: Nikoloz Basilashvili over Matteo Berrettini and Joao Sousa over Hyeon Chung

Final: Basilashvili over Sousa

 

Shenzhen Open

Where: Shenzhen, China
Points: 250
Top seed: David Goffin
Defending champion: David Goffin

 

Murray is the biggest name in Shenzhen and Goffin is the No. 1 seed, but at least one will be gone prior to the quarters. The Scot is kicking off his campaign against Chinese wild card Zhizhen Zhang, with the winner to meet Goffin in round two. A relatively difficult top half of the bracket also includes Fernando Verdasco, Borna Coric, and Denis Shapovalov. Neither Coric nor Shapovalov should have much difficulty setting up what would be a blockbuster quarterfinal showdown.

Tsitsipas has been outstanding in 2018, but he may be paying the price for a heavy workload as he rounds the season’s home stretch in the fall. The 20-year-old Greek got crushed by Daniil Medvedev in the USO second round and he dropped his Metz opener last week to Ricardas Berankis, who had been on a nine-match losing streak. Tsitsipas owns an extremely favorable draw this week, as he should cruise before likely colliding with Alex de Minaur in the semis.

Semifinal picks: David Goffin over Borna Coric and Alex de Minaur over Andreas Seppi

Final: Goffin over de Minaur

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @TennGrand.

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