- Chris Sobey
This week’s ATP Tennis action at Beijing and Tokyo is well underway and by the time you read this article the second-round matches will be underway. At Beijing top-seed and favourite Nadal had to work hard and save two match points in his opener against Pouille while compatriot and fourth seed Carreno-Busta failed to muster the same fight losing his opener against veteran Darcis. Second seed Alexander Zverev made up for his shock early exit at Shenzhen last week defeating Britain’s Kyle Edmunds. The remaining five seeded players, third seed Dimitrov, fifth seed Bautista-Agut, sixth seed Isner, seventh seed Berdych and eighth seed Berdych all progressed to the second round and they were joined by Wild Card Del Potro and NextGen star Rublev.
Beijing’s second round matches get underway at 5.30am GMT and eighth seed Kyrgios gets things underway against the unseeded Mischa Zverev who leads the head-to-head 1-0. They are followed by two qualifiers Lajovic and Darcis and the Serbian leads the head-to-head 1-0. Britain’s Aljaz Bedene faces fifth seed Bautista Agut next and the head-to-head stands at 2-2 and the organisers have saved potentially the best match up till last with third seed Dimitrov against Wild Card Del Potro and the Argentine is the favourite as he leads the head-to-head 5-1.
At Tokyo second seed Thiem crashed out against American Johnson and I was right to side with the unseeded Gasquet (14/1) as he won his opener against sixth seed Querrey. Top-seed Cilic won his opener against qualifier and NextGen star Tsitsipas as did third seed Raonic against Troicki. Fourth seed and Shenzhen winner Goffin plays his opener against veteran Lopez today and the Belgian is worth opposing as he’s unlikely to be motivated to challenge for the title this week. Fifth Seed Anderson (7/1) won his opener against Simon, seventh seed Ramos-Vinolas was knocked out by Vesely and eighth seed Schwartzman got his campaign off to a winning start against American Young.
Other players to progress to the second round were Chengdu semi-finalist Sugita, who is unseeded this week, and he knocked out Metz and 2016 finalist Paire, qualifier Ebden who knocked out veteran Karlovic, veteran Lu who knocked out home hope Daniel and Tomic who won his first match since Nottingham this summer against Sousa. Shenzhen finalist Dolgopolov gets his campaign underway in the early hours of this morning against Medvedev and other matches taking place today are between Vesely and Mannarino, Harrison and fifth seed Anderson, eighth seed Schwartzman against Tomic and top-seed Cilic against Wild Card Uchiyama.