I’ve been focusing on the WTA tour the past few weeks, but how could I ignore the sensational line-up of quarter-final matches in the ATP draw in Beijing? I saw a few highlights of Rafael Nadal’s first match since Wimbledon against Richard Gasquet in the first round of Beijing. There was one rally in that match that made me gasp. Rafa always seems to come back very strongly after a lengthy lay-off. I’m intrigued to see if he can go all the way in Beijing. In case you missed it earlier in the week, Moo’s Tennis Blog is now on Facebook! Thanks to everyone who has liked the page so far 🙂
1. Andy Murray v Marin Cilic (ATP Beijing, QF)
As the Race to Singapore was decided for the women on Thursday, the Race to London remains completely up in the air. Andy Murray is certainly in the mix after taking wildcards into both Shenzhen and Beijing; last week he won Shenzhen after saving five match points in the final against Tommy Robredo. He needed three sets to get past Jerzy Janowicz in his first match in Beijing, but was never troubled by Pablo Cuevas in the second round. Murray will take on the US Open champion, Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals. This is Cilic’s first tournament since that historic tournament. He has defeated Bai Yan (6-3 6-4) and Joao Sousa (6-3 6-3) in his first two matches. In their last match on tour, Cilic defeated Murray in straight sets in Rotterdam, 6-3 6-4. It’s an interesting dynamic to see how Cilic will respond after wininng a first Grand Slam match. Murray will be a big step up from his first two opponents, but I think on this fast hard court, Cilic will have the edge.
Prediction: Cilic d. Murray in 3 sets
2. Novak Djokovic v Grigor Dimitrov (ATP Beijing, QF)
A repeat of the Wimbledon semi-final between Novak Djokovic and Grigor Dimitrov will be the first match on the National Tennis Stadium on Friday. Djokovic and Dimitrov contested a slippery, slidey and ultimately, rather frustrating four set semi-final at Wimbledon. Since breaking new ground in his career at Wimbledon, Dimitrov’s year has simmered. He reached the semi-finals in Canada, but suffered a very disappointing loss to Gael Monfils at the US Open where he went out in straight sets, wasting a big lead in the second set tiebreak. Djokovic too, hasn’t been at his best since SW19 with some commentators speculating that his thoughts are more focussed towards the birth of his first child. Djokovic came from a break down in the second set to defeat Vasek Pospisil in the second round, 6-3 7-5. Dimitrov has taken out two Spaniards: Fernando Verdasco (6-1 3-6 6-3) and Pablo Andujar (6-4 6-4). I think Djokovic will win this comfortably… i’m not sure why, but it’s a feeling. And for the record, my feelings are never normally good!
Prediction: Djokovic d. Dimitrov in 2 sets (1 tight, 1 easy)
ATP Beijing Quarter-Final Predictions
Tomas Berdych d. John Isner in 2 tight sets
Rafael Nadal d. Martin Klizan in 2 sets
ATP Tokyo Quarter-Final Predictions
Jack Sock d. Benjamin Becker in 3 sets
Kei Nishikori d. Jeremy Chardy in 2 sets
Milos Raonic d. Denis Istomin in 2 sets
Gilles Simon d. Steve Johnson in 3 sets