ATP Shanghai: 3rd Round Predictions

The Top 4 of 3rd Round Shanghai Matches
Andy Murray
1. Andy Murray v Alexandr Dolgopolov
Andy Murray received a walkover into the third round after Florian Mayer was forced to retire with a rib injury.  This is unlikely to favour Murray who has yet to take to the fast hard courts of Shanghai.  His 3rd round opponent is likely to make things even more tricky… step forward, Alexandr Dolgopolov.  The unpredictable Ukranian has gone off the radar in recent months, but he has had a strong week so far with straight set wins over Jeremy Chardy and Gilles Simon.  Murray has won all three of their previous encounters, the tightest of those matches was at the 2011 Australian Open where Murray edged through in four sets.  I fancy Dolgopolov to blitz the first set before Murray eventually finds his feet to win…
Prediction – Murray to beat Dolgopolov in 3 sets

2. Tomas Berdych v Sam Querrey
Tomas Berdych and Sam Querrey will play each other for the third time in as many months in the third round of the Shanghai Masters.  Berdych had a straightforward victory over Andreas Seppi in the second round, meanwhile Querrey produced an excellent comeback to defeat the in-form Tokyo champion, Kei Nishikori, 2-6 6-1 6-4.  Berdych won both of their encounters on the American hard courts; most recently he took four sets to get past the big serving American at Flushing Meadows.  I fancy Querrey to start strong again and push Berdych hard, but I still predict that Berdych will make it into the quarter-finals.
Prediction – Berdych to beat Querrey in 3 sets

Marcos Baghdatis
3. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga v Marcos Baghdatis
The first match on the main showcourt in Shanghai will see two of the most exciting characters on the ATP tour square off against each other.  Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won a tight two setter with fellow compatriot, Benoit Paire, 7-6 7-5, meanwhile Marcos Baghdatis had a much tougher match against the Canadian, Milos Raonic.  He won a total epic, 7-6 6-7 7-6 in what was the second match this week to include three tiebreak sets.  The Cypriot has had little joy against Tsonga having lost their two previous encounters in straight sets.  Tsonga will no doubt be tired from his exploits in Beijing, but I still think he will comfortably win here…
Prediction – Tsonga to beat Baghdatis in 2 sets

4. Roger Federer v Stanislas Wawrinka
Roger Federer beat Lu Yen-Hsun yesterday to set up a third rounder with good friend and fellow Swiss star, Stanislas Wawrinka.  Wawrinka was forced to work hard in his first two rounds with a 7-6 7-6 victory over Albert Ramos and a three set win over Denis Istomin.  The history books do not look good for Wawrinka in this match, who has won just one of 12 matches; that was in 2009 on the clay courts of Monte-Carlo.  Wawrinka possesses a lot of talent, but unfortunately not enough bottle to pull off the big wins.  I am backing Federer to stroll through this match…
Prediction – Federer to beat Wawrinka in 2 sets
Best of the rest:
Novak Djokovic should have things his way against the Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, meanwhile the three remaining matches promise to be close.  John Isner barely made it through his second round match with Kevin Anderson and things will not get easy against the unpredictable serve-and-volleyer, Radek Stepanek who upset Richard Gasquet today.  I think Tommy Haas has the beating of Janko Tipsarevic and that Marin Cilic will topple Fernando Verdasco, who had a very solid win over Juan Monaco in the last round.

Predictions:
Novak Djokovic to beat Feliciano Lopez in 2 sets
John Isner to beat Radek Stepanek in 3 sets
Tommy Haas to beat Janko Tipsarevic in 3 sets
Marin Cilic to beat Fernando Verdascon in 2 tight sets

You can view my original predictions for Shanghai HERE… so far not bad! A few disasters as ever, but correctly predicted unseeded third rounders in Sam Querrey and Tommy Haas.

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