Wed, Oct 10, 12:44pm by Staff Writer
The season’s second last ATP Masters 1000 event takes place in Shanghai this week and it will be one of the last tournaments many of the world’s best will take part in before the end of season finals in London.
Wimbledon and US Open champion Novak Djokovic has a stunning 11-0 head to head advantage against his second round opponent Jeremy Chardy and is yet to drop a set to the Frenchman.
Djokovic is $1.08 to win the match on the fast Shanghai hard courts, with Chardy priced at $11.
Top seed Roger Federer is slated to take on last week’s ATP 500 Tokyo Open champion Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday.
Medvedev has won three titles this season, with last week’s indoor triumph in Japan the most notable of the three.
He beat hometown favourite Kei Nishikori in straight sets and had a dominant week on court. With plenty of indoor tennis remaining on the calendar this season, Medvedev will be looking to push close to a top 10 ranking.
Australian Nick Kyrgios was bundled out in the opening round in Shanghai after losing a three set match to American Bradley Klahn.
The match lasted just 78 minutes and spanned three sets in a contest that bordered on unwatchable for large parts.
Kyrgios won the first set before losing serve once in both the second and third sets.
Fifth seed Marin Cilic ($1.18) is a short priced favourite to beat Chilean Nicolas Jarry ($4.73) in the second round, but the Croat has not had a good season since Wimbledon, with patchy form and his wedding perhaps play a part in his form dip.
A player to watch in Shanghai is Russian Karen Khachanov.
The youngster is a $1.69 favourite to beat Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas ($2.15) on Wednesday and will be aided by a tough three-set opening round win against Steve Johnson.
Austrian Dominic Thiem has had a good recent record against Australian players, taking down Alex De Minaur and John Millman in Davis Cup play recently.
The Shanghai courts are much faster than his preferred surface of clay and despite making the US Open semi finals; the court speed in China far exceeds that of Flushing Meadows.
He has a tricky opening round match against Matt Ebden and isn’t worth taking a risk on in any form at this tournament, given his poor record in Shanghai, where he is 2-3 all time.
The WTA season rolls on after a big past fortnight in China, with tournament wins to Aryna Sabalenka in Wuhan and Caroline Wozniacki in Beijing.
The top players will be looking ahead to the end of season finals in Singapore at the end of the month, but there are plenty of ranking points to pick up in tournaments this month.
Sabalenka is in action in Tianjin, where she was runner up last year. She has had a tendency to underperform in smaller tournaments this year, so won’t be taking fellow 20-year-old Sofia Kenin lightly in round one.
In Hong Kong, Elina Svitolina ($4) is the top seed and tournament favourite.
Big hitting Spaniard Garbina Muguruza ($5) is second in line after impressing in Beijing. She was overpowered by Sabalenka in two sets, but competed admirably in one of the best match’s of the season.
Chinese players Shuai Zhang ($9) and Qiang Wang ($11) are worthy of consideration in Hong Kong. Wang made the semi finals in Beijing and dispatched the in-form Sabalenka before losing to tournament winner Wozniacki.
In the indoor tournament in Linz, Austria top seed Julia Goerges is priced at $5 after making the final at the event in 2012. She has only played four matches indoor this season and has had a poor season after breaking into the top 10 in 2017.
Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens is tournament favourite at $3.50 in an open field, with Katerina Siniakova ($9) and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova ($11) the next best.
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