ATP Tour: Shenzhen International Selected Ro16 Fixtures Preview

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Our tennis writer previews two fixtures from the ATP Tour's Shenzhen International Round of 16.


Albert Ramos-Vinolas 5/10 | Viktor Troicki 15/10
Vinolas picked up a tremendous victory over eighth seed Andreas Seppi in the opening match and will be looking at this match as something of a give-me. Having said that, Ramos-Vinolas’ victory over Seppi broke a run of six consecutive defeats in the wake of Wimbledon. Vinolas has had a tough time in the wake of a fairly successful Round of 32 showing in Roland Garros. He certainly proved once again that his home is the clay. He reached the final 16 in Rome and Barcelona. He also reached the quarter-finals in Sao Paolo. His result of the year came with a run to the final of the Ecuador Open. He also enjoyed a credible run to the final 32 in Melbourne. That showed a glimmer of hardcourt ability, though eight of his nine ATP Finals have been on clay. Though that final did come on the Chinese hardcourts of Chengdou.

32-year-old Viktor Troicki has been no stranger to drama in his career. He has survived a litany of injury scares as well as a doping violation that threatened to derail him. Garcia Lopez had to retire in their opening match, but prior to that Troicki’s season form had gone from bad to worse. He lost six consecutive matches in the wake of the Italian Open. His best result of the season came with a quarterfinal appearance at the Sofia Open. In fact, Troicki’s win percentage year-to-date on the hardcourts has been a dire 29%. The 32-year-old’s best days look to certainly be behind him. The 2016 Sydney International Champion has become the very definition of the journeyman pro. Alright, perhaps Marcos Bagdhatis can lay claim to that title.

Ramos also leads the head-to-head 2-0, which includes a straight sets victory on the hardcourts of Indian Wells in 2015. Although there seems little value in backing a man at 5/10, Ramos-Vinolas is the only man I can envisage winning here. 

Stefanos Tsitsipas 9/20 | Pierre-Hugues Herbert 31/20 
Stefanos Tsitsipas certainly has been a breath of fresh year on this year’s tour. The effervescent Greek has truly emerged as a likely contender for Major Championships as time goes along. He has shown all-court potential, starting with a wonderful clay-court season. He reached the final in Barcelona and semi-final in Estoril. He then showed his versatility with a run to the final 16 at Wimbledon. He then went from strength to strength with the advent of the American hardcourt season. He reached the semi-finals of Washington before a terrific run to the final in Canada. Since then his form has- perhaps unsurprisingly- tailed off. In fact he was knocked out of the opening round in Moselle last time out.

Pierre-Hugues Herbert has primarily found success on the double’s circuit. He actually has three Grand Slam Doubles titles to his name. He has one single’s final to his name- which encouragingly came on the hardcourts of the Winston Salem Open in 2015. The Frenchman will be hoping to capitalize on the Greek’s recent run of poor form this week. Perhaps of some real encouragement for the Frenchman was his performance at Indian Wells. He reached the final 16 of a stacked event on a similar outdoor hardcourt to this one. He also reached the final 16 in Rotterdam and managed a quarter-final in the Antalya Open. He has been on the fringes in some major events, reaching the third Round of the French Open and making it to the final 32 in Canada. He most recently came to the fore with that fiasco at the US Open that saw the chair umpire reprimanded for motivating Nick Kyrgios.

This will be the first meeting between Herbert and Tsitsipas. While I have the sneaking suspicion that the uber-talented Greek will ultimately get the job done this week, perhaps 27/20 for Herbert to win the first set may be in play. Tsitsipas has looked somewhat jaded of late and may need a bit of time to unlock this one. 

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Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets.net

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