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  • Keith Sobey


Last Week top-seed Thiem won his third ATP 250 tournament of the season at St Petersburg, which was his first title indoors, and he beat an injured Klizan (advised 45/1) in a one-sided final. At Metz the continuation of French players dominating the title continued and on this occasion it was resurgent the unseeded veteran Simon who lifted the title, which was a one-sided affair against debutant and qualifier Bachinger from Germany.

On to this week’s ATP action and there are two 250 outdoor hardcourt tournaments to focus on in China at Chengdu and Shenzen that kick off the Asian swing that culminates with Shanghai Masters in a few weeks’ time. Chengdu is a new event that commenced in 2106 and has been dominated by unseeded players so far. This trend continued last year as the unseeded veteran Istomin defeated veteran Bagahdatis, who was all unseeded. Shenzen, which is also a new event that has been running since 2014 and its been a good event for seeded players who won all three titles and contested all three finals.

As Chengdhu is a newish tournament with little historical data to go on I’ll keep my analysis to a minimum and focus on unseeded players who have performed best at the last two renewals. The two unseeded players that I think have a good outside chance this week are veteran Kukushkin (price tbc) who can compete against and beating all the potential opponents in the top-half of the draw and his big hitting aggressive game would be well suited to the quicker conditions at Chengdu. The other unseeded player who could go well at a big price is Albot (price tb) as he’s been a late bloomer producing better and better results over the last few seasons, which culminated in a semi-final run at Metz last week. If he can recover from the jet lag in time and adapt to the conditions well he’s more than capable of producing a good run this week.

As seeded players between one to five have dominated Shenzhen since its inception in 2014 I’ll highlight a couple of seeded layers who should be challenging for the title on Sunday. Third seed Coric (price tbc) from the top-half of the draw should be competitive this week if he can produce he best hard-court form and on paper he has a safe route to the semi-finals. Second seed and NexGen star Tsitsipas showed excellent form on hard courts during the summer and this week and if he’s fully recovered from that winning spell he should be competitive this week, especially as the quicker conditions should suit his big serving and hitting game.




Kukushkin EW (25/1)

Albot Win (80/1)


Coric Win (6/1)

Tsitsipas Win (7/1)

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