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  • Chris Sobey


This week’s ATP tennis action in China at Chengdu and Shenzhen is slowly gathering space and the action is now approaching the quarter-final stage. By the time you read this article the quarter-final places should be determined give a game or two that might be finishing late. At Shenzhen top-two seeds Alexander Zverev and Goffin are still on course to meet in Sunday’s final, well that’s if Zverev has won his opener against experienced veteran Darcis this morning who won their only previous encounter on indoor hard court in the Davis Cup earlier this year.

Goffin is already through to the quarter finals having beat Donskoy in straight sets yesterday and he faces eighth seed Young for a place in the semis tomorrow morning. It was a surprise to see sixth seed Dzumhur win his opener against Millman yesterday after flying from St Petersburg on Sunday night and dealing with the jet lag and short turn around. However, he faces qualifier today and he may not be so fortunate on this occasion as the Slovakian has plenty of momentum from qualifying and won their only encounter.

Third seed Mischa Zverev retired injured during his semi-final at Metz last week and is scheduled to face veteran Sela tomorrow and I’m not convinced the German veteran will have much left in the tank to see off the wily old Sela who is the outsider. Fifth seed Dolgopolov faces compatriot and veteran Stakhovsky today and Dolgopolov leads the head-to-head 3-2.

At Chengdu all three of my outright selections qualifier Fritz (25/1), fifth seed Sugita (22/1) and the unseeded Lajovic (40/1) are still in with a shout of reaching Sunday’s final and where guaranteed at least one semi-finalist as Sugita and Lajovic face each other in the quarter finals tomorrow morning and Lajovic won their only encounter on hard courts back in 2013. They Are joined in the quarter finals by veteran Istomin and American Donaldson, who knocked out Britain’s Kyle Edmund.

Fritz faces Basilashvili for the first time this morning and this will be a tough test for the young American as Basilashvili is ranked over 60 places higher, is more experienced and is clearly playing well as he reached the quarter-finals at Metz last week. Other second round matches taking place this morning, were top-seed Thiem against Pella, and an upset is not out of the question as the Argentine won their only encounter on clay in Rio back in 2016. Fourth seed Rublev faces home hope and veteran Lu and the Russian won their only encounter and another veteran Baghdatis faces Metz winner Gojowczyk who surprised me along with Dzumhur winning his opener after a mad dash from France on Sunday night.

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