The men are also in Beijing and Rafael Nadal is apparently cleared to play! Nadal says he’s abdominal injury has healed and in addition to playing Beijing he’ll be available for Spain’s upcoming Davis Cup finale against the Czech Republic in Decemeber.
That said, if Nadal does play a full fall schedule with Beijing, Paris and London, what are the chances he gets through all three events uninjured? I’m not being hater, I’m just saying.
In the immediate future, Nadal’s Beijing draw is anything but easy. The top seed opens play against Marcos Baghdatis, then perhaps James Blake in the second round with a possible Fernando Gonzalez collision in the quarterfinals. Nadal has a perfect 11-0 career record in Beijing but I’m going to predict he’ll suffer his first loss there this week.
Joining Nadal are Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick, the No. 2 and 3 seeds, respectively, and both are on the same half. Roddick could meet Robin Soderling in the quarterfinals while Novak will be tested by Fernando Verdasco in that same round.
The ATP’s other event next week is in Tokyo where top seed Andy Murrayhas just announced his widthawal due to a bad left wrist.
Murray’s withdrawal (and Roger Federer who withdrew earlier) leaves US Open champ Juan Martin Del Potro as the top seed and looking briefly at his draw he should have little trouble getting at least to the semifinals with only Simon, Berdych and Hewitt to deal with on his half. The other half features Frenchman Jo Tsonga, my man Gael Monfils, Richard Gasquet plus Radek Stepanek.
A couple surprises today from the Asian events. In Bangkok, Victor Troicki upset Jo Tsonga in three sets. Troicki has a big game, big serve, decent return but Tsonga’s got just a deadly a set of weapons as anyone indoors, so good win for the Serb. Troicki meets another Frenchman, Gilles Simon, in the final.
Simon by the way is ranked No. 10 and he’ll need to put up some good results this month if he wants to finish among the elite for a second straight year.
In Kuala Lumpur, Mr. Indoors Robin Soderling got bounced by Nikolay Davydenko in a surprise. In the final Davydenko will face Verdasco who beat Gonzalez in the battle of the Fernando’s.
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