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ATP Week Ahead: Tokyo, Beijing

Posted by gauloises1 on October 5, 2009

Tokyo

berdych tokyo

Draw here.

Well, Elf’s back. And so is Tomas Berdych, the man who beat him 61 64 in last year’s final to take the trophy. (Journalistic impartiality compels me to point out that JMDP was ill.) If the seeding holds, they’re due to meet in the … never, actually, but they could meet in the semi-finals. JMDP kicks off with a qualifier, and may have to face either Jurgen Melzer (perennially attracted to him in the draws, and indeed who could blame him?) or a certain Horseface in the second round, before probably-Hewitt in the quarters and probably either Berdych or Simon in the semi-finals.

Not that it’s all about JMDP, of course, although all eyes will be on him. (Well, all my eyes.) Also in action: Thomaz Bellucci, who is due to face Mikhail Youzhny in a first-round that could be either cracking or totally limp; Stanislas Wawrinka, who’s drawn Isner in the first round in a match you probably don’t want when you’re somewhat slumping; and Gael Monfils, who kicks off against Turkey’s finest Marsel Ilhan and will face either Marco Chiudinelli or Dudi Sela in the second round. The bottom quarter is absolutely loaded, with Stepanek vs. Gulbis, Pico vs. Garcia-Lopez, Gasquet vs. Petzchner, and Tsonga vs. Zverev the first-round match-ups. All of which is to say: fun! Go Elf! And don’t drink the water.

Beijing

roddick beijing

Draw here.

Now this is loaded. Top seed Nadal kicks off against Marcos Baghdatis, with a probable meeting with James Blake in the second round. Marat Safin plays Chucho in the first round, with the victor meeting either David Ferrer or Gonzo. A probable semi-final against Davydenko awaits, with the Russian having a fairly easy route; I don’t see either Kohlschreiber or Karlovic giving him too much trouble in the second round, and much as I love Marin, I’ve had too much experience of his inconsistency to bet against him even getting through a first round against Igor Andreev.

The bottom half of the draw is anchored by Djokovic and Soderling, with Roddick and Verdasco tucked in there too. Robin has a tough draw, faced with Chardy in the first round and probably-Robredo in the second, so I’d look for defending champion Roddick to come out of that quarter. Verdasco will have to contend with either Nicolas Almagro or Juan Carlos Ferrero in the second round, but I would still expect him to play Djokovic in the quarter-finals. It’s far from inconceivable that we could get a Nole-Nadal final. Which would just be all sorts of good stuff. Fingers crossed.

8 Responses to “ATP Week Ahead: Tokyo, Beijing”

  1. Bismarck said

    a tooms trophy shot! such a rare, precious thing. go go go big berd!

  2. gauloises1 said

    Yes, indeed, go Berd.

    Unless he has to play JMDP, in which case STOP, Berd. STOP.

  3. irefusetotellyou said

    ELF v. HORSEFACE if they both win their matches?

    That will only be THE GREATEST MATCH EVER OF ALL TIME IN THE HISTORY OF SPORTS.

  4. AmyLu said

    My only request for Rafa: DO NOT LOSE TO BLAKE. If you feel like losing to Blake, please lose to Marcos in the first round. Many thanks!

    I worry that Nole is going to lose to Roddick for what feels like the 5,000th time in a row. I’m also curious as to whether or not he’ll have incorporated any input from Todd Martin into his game.

    I feel like Elf’s draw to the semis is pretty straight-forward. I still worry about Hewitt, it may be irrational, but I do worry about him. He’s too good of a competitor for me to ever write him off (well with the following two scenarios: when he’s playing Federer or when he’s playing Rafa on clay).

    I believe that the Tennis Channel is showing the end of the Tokyo tournament in the U.S., which makes me excited. I’ve missed tennis on TV (and I am hoping for Tokyo’s sake that it has a final that is actually completed this week).

  5. linz said

    I’M NOT READY TO FRAZZLE YET. I’M STILL TOO FRAGILE FOR THIS!!!!!!!!

  6. gauloises1 said

    I worry about Hewitt too, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable. He gave JMDP a really tough time in Washington when JMDP was on top form, after all.

    And you know that whole beating him in the second round of Wimbledon lingers, for some reason.

  7. irefusetotellyou said

    Hm. I thought that Blake was sort of a joke (at least recently) — I don’t see Rafa having too much of a problem.

    Didn’t Robredo beat him in straight sets at the Open?

  8. gauloises1 said

    The idea of Blake beating Rafa is a joke. Not a funny one, but a joke nonetheless.

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