The tennis season resumes the indoor season in real earnestness, this week. The Big 4 are well represented by the World No.1 – Novak Djokovic and World No.2 – Rafael Nadal. Djokovic and Nadal bring their battle for the No.1 ranking right to the Chinese capital. Nadal’s chance of regaining the No.1 ranking is entirely within his control, thanks to a phenomenal run during the summer hardcourts that culminated in him winning the US Open. Djokovic will have to win the tournament and hope Nadal does not make the finals, a scenario that looks more unlikely than Kim Kardashian becoming a Jeopardy Champion.
Sportz Cosmos Preview: ATP China Open
Nole’s Quarter: Djokovic opens his tournament with a 1st round match against Rosol. A match he should win in straight sets. That would set him up against a Spanish left-handed player – Verdasco. [Assuming my country man Somdev Devvarman doesn’t pull off the upset against Verdasco]. In th other section of this quarter, I pick Youzhny to come through and set up the quarter-final with Nole. I pick Nole to make the semis from this section
Ferrer’s Quarter: It is always heart-warming to see Richard Gasquet as the no.5 seed in a tournament that is loaded with big names. This is a quarter I will pick, out of hope rather than reason. I expect to see a Gasquet-Pospisil in the quarter-finals with Gasquet being the semi-finalist.
Berdych’s Quarter: It is great to see Berdych -The-Baby-Safin consistently get deep in the tournaments. A few years too late, one must say, but a great achievement nonetheless. This is the quarter of death. Isner, Dimitrov, Davydenko and Berdych. A real toss-up and the toss says a Dimitrov-Berdych quarterfinal with Berdych making it through.
Rafa’s Quarter: Nadal has got a good draw, all things considered. He really should not have any problems till he reaches the quarter-final. The other section has a wonderful first round match between Hewitt and Haas. I expect Haas to make the quarter-finals and give Rafa his 1st serious test since another single-handed backhand guy with some talent called Roger Federer posed all sorts of problems to Rafa – in the Cincinnati Quarterfinal. Rafa should make it through to the semi-finals, however.
Semi-finals: Djokovic over Gasquet and Nadal over Berdych.
Final: Djokovic to beat Nadal in 2 sets.