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Tennis News • Ricky’s Previews And Picks For The Chengdu And Zhuhai Title Matches

By Ricky Dimon

Three of the four finalists this week are unseeded, which is not unusual for 250-point events during the fall swing. Alex de Minaur is going up against Adrian Mannarino on Sunday in Chengdu, while the Zhuhai title match is an all-unseeded affair featuring Pablo Carreno Busta and Alexander Bublik.

Ricky previews the action and makes his predictions:

Zhuhai: Adrian Mannarino vs. (7) Alex de Minaur

De Minaur survived two tough ones against Andy Murray and Borna Coric earlier this week, but he has been by far the best player at the Zhuhai Championships and can punctuate his run in appropriate fashion on Sunday. One more win would result in the 31st-ranked Australian’s third ATP title of his career and third of the season. De Minaur sandwiched his defeats of Murray and Coric by crushing John Millman 6-1, 6-3 in round one and Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 6-2 in the semis.

Up next for the 20-year-old is a first-ever meeting with Mannarino. The 31-year-old Frenchman also captured the first title of his career in 2019, triumphing on the grass courts of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. He is sporting a winning record for the year (22-21) thanks to Zhuhai victories over Ze Zhang, top-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas (retirement after the second set), Damir Dzumhur, and Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Mannarino is 1-6 lifetime in ATP finals and another such loss is likely forthcoming against a scorching-hot opponent.

Prediction: De Minaur in 2

Chengdu: Pablo Carreno Busta vs. Alexander Bublik

Carreno Busta and Bublik will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers on Sunday at the Chengdu Open. Their only previous meeting did not disappoint, as Carreno Busta got the job done 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(1) on the indoor hard courts of Moscow in 2016. Bublik’s style of play is conducive to tiebreakers and generally competitive matches like that one, because his serve is huge but the rest of his game can be erratic. The 71st-ranked Kazakh has gone deep into third sets twice this week, outlasting Taylor Fritz and Grigor Dimitrov in dramatic fashion while making quicker work of Jordan Thompson and lucky loser Lloyd Harris.

Carreno Busta has also been in stellar form this summer; in fact, he has won multiple matches at five straight events. The 63rd-ranked Spaniard is through to his seventh career final (3-3 record) following defeats of Radu Albot, Benoit Paire, Christian Garin, and Denis Shapovalov. Bublik, meanwhile, is set for his second-ever title match after reaching the same stage in Newport two months ago. Based on current form and experience, an overall edge definitely goes to Carreno Busta.

Prediction: Carreno Busta in 2

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

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