Despite great heat and humidity, the city of Shenzhen gets ready to host the fourth edition of its ATP 250 tournament, which is home to one of the fastest outdoor hardcourt surfaces on the Tour. With 32 outdoor courts and a centre court that can seat 4,000 spectators, Shenzhen has been trying hard to establish its reputation as a world-class tennis tournament both on the ATP and WTA Tours.
Several top ten players have chosen to compete here in the past in order to test the conditions ahead of the bigger tournaments in Beijing and Shanghai. However, Andy Murray, who won the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2014 is missing this time around along through injury. Also absent is two-time defending champion Tomas Berdych, who has chosen to rest after making an appearance in the star-studded Laver Cup last week. But who will take advantage to win this year?
World #4 Alexander Zverev, who turned up with an impressive showing in the Laver Cup last week, is the top seed. Zverev has won 5 titles this year alone and will be keen to make amends after his early exit at the US Open by getting back to winning form. Belgium’s David Goffin, who lost to France’s Benoit Paire at the Moselle Open last week, is the 2nd seed. Goffin produced a masterclass effort to help Belgium reach the Davis Cup finals two weeks ago and he is also surely desperate to continue his upturn in form after the injury he suffered earlier in the season.
Alexander’s elder brother Mischa Zverev, who retired in his semifinal match against eventual title winner Peter Gojowczyk at Metz last week, is seeded 3rd. Seeded 4th is Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi, who lost in the first round last week at St. Petersburg also to title winner Damir Dzumhur. Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov, Dzumhur, Portugal’s Joao Sousa and the USA’s Donald Young respectively are the remaining four seeds in the tournament. Another player to watch could be Australia’s John Millman, who has used his protected ranking to enter the draw. Millman beat Nick Kyrgios and Malik Jaziri on his way to the third round at the US Open and also impressed everyone with his performance in the Davis Cup semifinals, where he took a set against Goffin in extremely trying circumstances.
First round match to watch
Millman will take on last week’s winner in St Petersburg Dzumhur in the first round. This one could be a pretty tight affair considering the Bosnian will likely be feeling the effects after his big win over Fabio Fognini in the final in St Petersburg. The match between unseeded Tunisian Malek Jaziri and Romania’s Marius Copil could also be pretty interesting. Jaziri likes this surface and how Copil played last week at Metz, where he shocked Lucas Pouille in the second round. Copil’s powerful groundstrokes will be an interesting test for the Tunisian’s defensive skills.
It is hard to look beyond Alexander Zverev for this tournament given his form this year. Zverev took two titles on hard courts at Washington and Montreal before his shock first round exit at the US Open. He is already widely thought of as the heir to the greatness of the Big 4 and will further his claims in China. The younger Zverev to win his seventh career title in Shenzhen.
Who do you think will win the title in Shenzen? Let us know in the comments below!
Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?