After a first round wobble against Pouille world number one and top-seed Nadal (6/4) looked much better against Khachanov yesterday winning 6-3 6-3 and at his current price he is definitely worth considering from a betting perspective to land the Beijing title. He faces sixth seed Isner in the quarter finals today, leads the head-to-head 6-0 and he should progress to the semi-final if past encounters are anything to go by. Second seed Zverev is progressing nicely having seen off Edmunds and Fognini in straight sets and if he continues playing to the same level he should prove too good for the talented Rublev in today’s quarter final, although the young Russian will no doubt make him work very hard for the win.
Third seed Dimitrov faces a tough one in his quarter final against fifth seed Bautista Agut and I think this one may go the way of the Spaniard, who has looked solid this week. Finally, eighth seed Kyrgios faces qualifier and veteran Darcis today for the first time and for a place in the semi-finals. At Tokyo top-seed Cilic is still in action and faces American Harrison, who knocked out Anderson, today for a pace in the semi-finals. Cilic leads the head-to-head 4-1 and is the favourite to progress, which he should if he plays anywhere near his best. Fourth Seed and Shenzhen winner Goffin faces my one remaining outright selection this week Gasquet (25/1) for the first time, and for a place in the semi-finals, and I’m quietly confident Gasquet will win this as Goffins exploits last week are sure to catch up with him physically sooner rather than later.
Chengdu semi-finals Sugita has continued his great form this week at Tokyo reaching the quarter-finals of his home tournament and the home fans will be going insane in support of him today against Mannarino. Sugita leads the head-to-head 3-2 and on current form he has to be the call the win today. Finally, eighth seed Schwartzman faces Johnson for the second time and the American won their first meeting and he’s good value to cause the upset and win again today.