Because Laver Cup had great players involved, a few that might have played in the previous 250 ATP’s tournaments were absent, so the line ups lacked a lot of important names. That gave opportunity to many players and the winners of both St. Petersburg and Moselle Open had their first title in career. The events lacked dominant figures and power players.
Not the case for this week, when China brings 2 interesting events. In both we have big names involved, ready to prepare their game for the important tournaments.
In Shenzhen Open we have the young superstar, the number 1 Next Gen-er, Sascha Zverev, as the first favorite. The German will meet in the second round the in-form Davis Cup player, Steve Darcis. If it all goes by the plan, the number 4 ATP could face the St. Petersburg’s Champion in the Quarter-Finals, Damir Dzumhur. In a dream scenario for the Zverev family, Alexander can meet his brother, Mischa, in the Semi-Final, guaranteeing a Zverev brother in the Final. Is it doable?
Other dangerous and unpredictable players on Sascha’s side of the draw are Alexandr Dolgopolov, just fresh after hist first round win; Granollers and Stakhovsky – both past their prime, but they have the quality to do it in a good day.
The other side of the draw has David Goffin as the favorite number 2. The Belgian can meet Jeremy Chardy in the Quarters and the big server, Marius Copil, in the Semi-Final. The Romanian just won his first round match against Malek Jaziri, where he had to put in fight in order to grab the victory. Can he put together multiple victories? That’s the important question. He has the chance to do it.
Chendu Open has its share of buzz, bringing on the table World number 7 ATP, Dominic Thiem, as their first favorite. The Austria’s finest has his draw stacked with Next Gen stars. In the second round he could meet the versatile, but inconstant Croat, Borna Coric; the lost Next Gen hope, Taylor Fritz in the Quarters. In the Semi-Final he could battle the Russian who reached the second week in US Open this year, Andrey Rublev.
The bottom side of the draw has Albert Ramos-Vinolas as the second favorite. The Spaniard has dangerous players on his side like Kyle Edmund – the Brit won clearly in front of the fall from grace Australian, Bernard Tomic. The Next Gen star, Jared Donaldson won the battle of the youth against the Greek teenager, Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is still in search of his first victory on the ATP tour. A big server like Istomin can cause problems for Vinolas and Karen Khachanov can challenge him in the Semi-Final.
Will the underdogs step up and take down the favorites?