The Men’s Asian swing is going far more smoothly than the Women’s, to put it mildly.. Will take a quick look on what’s up in store for the coming week and potential matchups that wll get us excited along the way.
Novak Djokovic is the ultimate dominant figure here,as he hasn’t lost a match from 5 appearances so far. Champion in ’09,’10,’12,’13,’14 and perfect 25-0 record he will look to continue this as he opens up against qualifier in R1,fresh off a exo match vs Rafael Nadal in Bangkok earlier this week.
Meeting with John Isner in R3 and projected one with the winner between Ferrer and Raonic in the Semis should give us answers how he feels after the US Open title and a little bit of time off in Serbia afterwards.
Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych are highest seeds in the bottom half that potentially can decide the opponent for the World No.1. Berdych is still tested in Shenzhen where he would need to play 3 matches in 2 days in order to secure the title, as rain messed up the program. Tomas, winner here in 2011 and defending finalist from last year, has seen a big dip in form and the tournament in China could give him more belief in his own abilities, despite the matches he is winning are not vs top tier opponents.
David Goffin, who is always tricky and hard to beat, is the Czech’s R3 projected foe with Tsonga or Nadal his SF one.
On the back of the QF in US Open – Tsonga added a title in the indoor event in Metz 2 weeks ago on while Rafael Nadal helped Spain in Davis Cup defeating Denmark alongside David Ferrer a week earlier. Those 500 points up for grabs are well needed for the Spaniard as he looks to rebuild on what has been a really devastating and disappointing season for his lofty standards
Stan Wawrinka surprisingly lost last year to Tatsuma Ito in R1 and is now again the top seed of the event having his sights on better fate this time around. Feliciano Lopez who showed nice form in Kuala Lumpur making it to the final last week, is in the quarter of the Swiss. Finalist in Metz, Gilles Simon could face US Open QF-ist Kevin Anderson in the 4-th round which will potentially decide Stan’s opponent.
Defending champion Kei Nishikori is the 2nd seed of the event with Marin Cilic as the projected seed to face against in R3. Grigor Dimitrov, who is having a nightmare year after he managed to get as high as no. 8 in 2014 opens up against Benoir Paire and could have a Wimbledon rematch with Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the QF. The Bulgarian recently hired on trial basis Franco Davin, the ex-coach of Juan Martin Del Potro,which should spark some turn of events for him as he is projected to be out of top 20 on Monday.
Some unseeded floaters such as Nick Kyrgios and Fernando Verdasco are on this same section of the draw which seems quite packed and unpredictable to say the least. Nishikori’s road to the final is far from piece of cake.
With so many tournaments in short period of time in Asia, there is no room to catch a breath. Beijing’s MD even started before the final of Wuhan between Venus Williams and Garbine Muguruza was played. 2 tournaments back to back with 64 player draws with Sunday and Saturday MD starts respectively exhausted the field and at least Beijing did what Wuhan didn’t, giving performance bye’s to the participating Semifinalists in the prior one.
This is actually the conclusion of the Women’s Asian Swing as they will move on to play Indoor tournaments in Europe where many points will still be up for grabs for the remaining spots in Singapore and Tianjin.
Defending Champion Maria Sharapova withdrew with forearm injury, Serena Williams won’t play until end of the year which leads the field quite open with Simona Halep and defending finalist from 12 months ago Petra Kvitova as top seeds. US Open Champion Flavia Pennetta returns to the circuit and could square off against Ana Ivanovic in the ¼ finals, but Kar. Pliskova and Svitolina are no pushovers so this could become interesting and really unpredictable.
Simona Halep has Roberta Vinci as 3rd round potential opponent, with Garbine Muguruza as a 4th one, but first the Spaniard will need to take care of her ankle problem that forced her to retire against Venus Williams in the Wuhan Final. Not too much time to do that as she will probably need to play on Monday the latest.
The Elite is all hear, except some already mentioned missings and everything is wide open and those 1000 points could make a huge lift to players trying to play the last tournaments of the season in Thailand and China. Mathematically more than 20 players still remain in position to make to the end of the year Championships, so lock yourself and enjoy another highly entertaining week ahead
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