ATP Beijing, Tokyo: Preview and Predictions

I’ve ignored the ATP tournaments over the last couple of weeks and probably will do for some of 250 events as I just don’t have the time to cover them here on Moo’s Tennis Blog.  This week’s ATP tournaments, both 500 events, have great draws with nine of the top ten in action.  Rafael Nadal makes his return in Beijing, meanwhile Stan Wawrinka headlines the draw in Tokyo.  Let’s take a look at the draws…

ATP Beijing


Novak Djokovic makes his first appearance since a disappointing loss in the semi-finals of the US Open to Kei Nishikori.  Djokovic’s first match of the week will be against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.  Their last match in the quarters of Monte-Carlo was a stunning match; GGL won a set, but Djokovic powered through the decider to win, 4-6 6-3 6-1.  Since the clay season, GGL has lost more matches than he has won, compiling a 5-9 W-L record.  Djokovic’s projected quarter-final opponent is Grigor Dimitrov, who he defeated in four sets in a slippery and slidey semi-final match at Wimbledon.  Dimitrov plays Fernando Verdasco in the first round.  Verdasco won their previous encounter on clay in Bastad last year, 7-6(3) 5-7 7-5.

Marin Cilic plays his first ATP tournament since winning the US Open.  WINNING THE US OPEN.  His draw looks great on paper as he will play the world number 462, Bai Yan.  Cilic could meet Andy Murray in the quarter-finals, who took a wildcard into the Beijing draw.  Murray reached his first final of the year in Shenzhen, defeating Juan Monaco in a three set semi-final.  Murray will play Jerzy Janowicz in the first round.  John Isner and Tomas Berdych are the seeds in the third quarter and both have challenging openers; Isner plays Santiago Giraldo, who made the semi-finals of Shenzhen, meanwhile Berdych takes on Feliciano Lopez.  In their H2H, Lopez leads Berdych 6-4 and has won their last two matches.

The final quarter features the return of Rafael Nadal.  In the first round, Nadal takes on Richard Gasquet.  On paper, it looks a tough draw, but in truth, it *should* be fine for Rafa.  Nadal has a 12-0 H2H lead over Gasquet and the Frenchman has had a disappointing year.  He lost in the quarter-finals of Shenzhen to Juan Monaco in straight sets.  Another intriguing first rounder features Ernests Gulbis and Fabio Fognini.  Gulbis lost in the semi-finals of Kuala Lumpur, meanwhile Fognini hasn’t played since the Davis Cup semi-finals.  I hate going for Fognini, but I have a feeling (feelings are never normally good) that he might have the beating of Gulbis.

1st Round Predictions: Djokovic d. Garcia-Lopez in 2 sets, Pospisil d. Rosol in 3 sets, Dimitrov d. Verdasco in 3 sets, Murray d. Janowicz in 2 tight sets, Isner d. Giraldo in 3 sets, Robredo d. Seppi in 2 sets, Lopez d. Berdych in 3 sets, Fognini d. Gulbis in 3 sets and Nadal d. Gasquet in 2 sets

Quarter-Final Predictions: Djokovic v Dimitrov, Cilic v Murray, Robredo v Lopez and Fognini v Nadal

Final Prediction: Djokovic d. Nadal


 ATP Tokyo


Stan Wawrinka has reached the quarter-finals of his last two tournaments and will be looking to go much deeper in Tokyo where he is the top seed.  Stanley opens against Tatsuma Ito and is seeded to meet Alexandr Dolgopolov in the quarter-finals.  This will be Dolgopolov’s first tournament since Hamburg in July due to a knee injury.  Dolgo opens against Jack Sock.  The second quarter features US Open finalist, Kei Nishikori.  The Japanese star reached the final in Kuala Lumpur and has historically never coped well playing back-to-back tournaments.  His draw though, is reasonable.  Nishikori plays Ivan Dodig in the first round and is seeded to meet Kevin Anderson in the quarter-finals.  The South African player is paired with the talented, Dominic Thiem in the first round.  Anderson defeated Thiem at the Australian Open earlier this year in straight sets, but Thiem has improved so much this year.  Since losing a heartbreaker to Grigor Dimitrov in Canada, Anderson has won three matches and lost three matches.

The third quarter has Milos Raonic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.  Both impressed during the summer hard court season; Tsonga came out of nowhere to win Toronto, meanwhile Raonic reached the quarters of Canada and the semis of Cincy.  Both fell at the last 16 stage of the US Open.  Raonic has been remarkably solid this year and he’ll need to be just that to overcome Bernard Tomic in the first round.  Tsonga’s playing much better and with renewed vigour.  If Tsonga and Raonic do meet, I’d probably take Milos.

The final quarter is bolstered by three Spaniards; two of them, David Ferrer and Roberto Bautista Agut, are seeded.  Ferrer opens against Marcel Granollers and Bautista Agut plays Gilles Simon.  Ferrer suffered a surprising early exit in Shenzhen to Viktor Troicki.  Ferrer has had a number of puzzling losses and he has been a slow starter after a break from the tour.  Despite these results, he has still proven himself and played some excellent tennis once he gets going in a tournament.  I’m not sure if Tokyo will still be too soon before he finds his best form again.

1st Round Predictions: Wawrinka d. Ito in 2 sets, Nieminen d. Becker in 3 sets, Dolgopolov d. Sock in 3 sets, Nishikori d. Dodig in 2 sets, Soeda d. Young in 3 sets, Thiem d. Anderson in 3 sets, Raonic d. Tomic in 2 tight sets, Bautista Agut d. Simon in 2 sets, Muller d. Delbonis in 2 sets and Ferrer d. Granollers in 2 sets

Quarter-Final Predictions: Wawrinka v Dolgopolov, Nishikori v Thiem, Tsonga v Raonic and Bautista Agut v Ferrer

Final Predicton: Raonic d. Wawrinka



2 thoughts on “ATP Beijing, Tokyo: Preview and Predictions

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.