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  • Chris Sobey


Last weeks ATP Tennis action at Metz and St Petersburg produced plenty of top quality action and the finals of both tournaments featured three of the next generation stars of the game. At St Petersburg US Open champion and top-seed Stan Wawrinka continued his blistering form by reaching the final without dropping a set, where he faced teenage sensation and fifth seed Alexander Zverev yesterday, who also made the final without dropping a set and knocked out third seed Berdych at the semi-final stage.

Wawrinka was the hot favorite to win a sixteenth ATP Tour title on Sunday, but it was the German teenager Zverev who showed maturity beyond his years who came out on top, winning in three sets to land his first ATP title, which is sure to be the first of many. Over at Metz two of the games hottest young properties top-seed Dominic Thiem and third seed Lucas Pouille faced off in the final and it was the Frenchman who came out on top roared on by a passionate home support to land his first ATP title.

On to this week’s ATP action and there are two 250 outdoor hardcourt tournaments to focus on in China at Chengdu, which is a brand new event, and Shenzen which is also a new event that has been running since 2014. With very little historical data to help analyze either tournament I will keep my selections to a minimum this week.

At Chengdu Metz finalist Dominic Thiem is the top-seed and it will take a monumental effort from him to travel all the way from France to China and make back-to-back finals this week. Third seed Dimitrov (5/1) showed signs of a return to form during the summer US hard court swing reaching the semi-finals at Cincinnati, fourth round at the US Open and a repeat of that level of form should see him reach this year’s final from the top-half of the draw.

At Shenzen top-seed Tomas Berdych, who reached the semi-finals at St Petersburg, and fifth seed Alexander Zverev, who won the St Petersburg title last week are both likely to struggle at Shenzen this week given the minimal time they will have to acclimatize and prepare. Fourth seed Bernard Tomic (10/1) has the talent and game to capitalize if Berdych and Zverev struggle to produce their best form and looks overpriced to challenge for the title this week having already won three hard court titles at this level.

Third seed Richard Gasquet (6/1) is the stand out player in terms of ranking and ability from the bottom of the draw and looks to have an easy passage to the final. The main danger in terms of ranking and ability is second seed Goffin, who reached the semi-finals at Metz last week, but he will have little time to acclimatize and prepare given the short turn-around time and is worth opposing on that basis.

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