ATP BEIJING - MAIN DRAW: Nadal, Dimitrov and del Potro are in the top half



by JOVICA ILIC

ATP BEIJING - MAIN DRAW: Nadal, Dimitrov and del Potro are in the top half

Back in 1993, ATP Tour made some moves to expand tennis beyond the Europe, North and South America, and they started the new events in Qatar, Dubai, and Beijing. The tournament in Chinese capital stayed in the calendar for 5 years, with Michael Chang winning 3 titles, and it was canceled after 1997. IT was restored in 2004, with a nice field of players and a prize money, and the first two winners were Marat Safin and Rafael Nadal.

In 2006, Beijing became the first tournament outside the USA with a hawk-eye system, and 2 years later Beijing Olympic Green Tennis Center was built for the Olympics, a state of the art complex with the best possible facilities for the players.

In 2011, 11 new courts were built, together with new Stadium with 15,000 seats and a retractable roof, and this is one of the best tennis complexes in the world. Since 2009, Novak Djokovic became the dominant figure in Beijing, winning 6 titles until 2015, and Andy Murray took the throne from him in the last season.

World number 1 Rafael Nadal will be the player to beat next week, seeking his second Beijing title and a healthy 500 points in the battle for the year-end number 1 spot with Roger Federer. Struggling Lucas Pouille is his rival in the first round and Nadal should reach the quarter-final easily, facing Di Wu or Karen Khachanov in round 2.

Leonardo Mayer, Paolo Lorenzi or John Isner will try to prevent Nadal from reaching the semis, but that's not going to be easy, considering the form of the Spaniard. Grigor Dimitrov, who beat Nadal here 12 months ago, is the 3rd seed, and he will open his campaign against an in-form Bosnian Damir Dzumhur.

Juan Martin del Potro is in the second quarter as well, together with Roberto Bautista Agut, Aljaz Bedene, and Ze Zhang, and it will be interesting who will pass 3 tests and reach the semis. Nick Kyrgios faces Nikoloz Basilashvili, in what should be an entertaining match, and the winner will play against Jan-Lennard Struff or Mischa Zverev.

Fernando Verdasco, Pablo Carreno Busta, and 2 qualifiers are also in contention in this 3rd quarter, and we will discover if some of them are capable of stopping Nick from advancing into the last 4. 2011 champion Tomas Berdych is the 7th seed and he plays against Jared Donaldson, with Jack Sock or Andrey Rublev waiting in the second round.

Robin Haase and Fabio Fognini will battle for the place in R2, and Alexander Zverev will be there if he beats Kyle Edmund. Full draw:

↓ SHOW DRAW ↓

 

ALSO READ: ATP ANALYSIS: Federer blasts 74 winners against Roddick at Wimbledon 2003

Atp Beijing Carreno Busta