Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: ATP Tour: Zhuhai Open Preview

ATP Tour: Zhuhai Open Preview

The round of  32 gets underway at the Zhuhai Open with Damien Kayat previewing the match up between Tennys Sandgren and Andy Murray!

Photo Copyright Steve Haag Sport Hollywoodbets

ATP Tour 2019 | ATP 250 Series | Zhuhai Open 
Hengqin International Tennis Centre, Outdoor Hardcourt
Selected Round of 32 Matches | 24th September

Tennys Sandgren (11/10) 
vs Andy Murray (7/10)
This one is sure to attract a fair amount of attention, with the Andy Murray bandwagon rolling into town. The 32 year-old Scot, a three-time Grand Slam champion, has really struggled to reassert himself since returning from his 2nd hip surgery. In fact he is still yet to win on the tour proper. His victory over 17 year-old Imran Sibille in the Challenger Manacor event was his first singles victory since his return. He has recently admitted that it is unlikely that he will ever return to the rampaging baseliner of his heyday. He currently sits at 413 in the official world rankings. 1st round defeats at Cincinnati and the Winston Salem highlighted an understandable amount of ring-rust. He has enjoyed slightly more success on the doubles circuit, which has provided a more comfortable space for the post-surgery Murray.

The ever polarising figure that is Tennys Sandgren will once again look to play spoiler to the Andy Murray resurgence this week. The 28 year-old American broke into the tennis consciousness with a herculean run to the quarterfinal of the 2018 Aussie Open. He once again underlined his penchant for early season success by claiming his inaugural title at the Auckland Open. He plugged away manfully on the Challenger Tour, reaching the final in Sarasota. Sandgren seems to find his niche in Grand Slams, reaching the final 16 at Wimbledon. He also had a decent 3rd round run at Flushing Meadows, accounting for Jo Wilfried Tsonga in an epic five set opening round match. Sandgren is the joker in the pack, utterly unpredictable in every way.

This will be their 2nd meeting, with Murray losing to Sandgren recently at the Winston Salem Open. That straight sets victory was fairly tight and could have gone either way. I’m surprised that Murray is still the slight favourite, despite no real tangible signs of improvement. He’s going to win eventually, but Sandgren still looks like good value at 11/10.

Nick Kyrgios (6) (9/20) vs Andreas Seppi (16/10)
The travails of Nick Kyrgios just never end. It’s just so frustrating when you are dealing with a player of such untapped potential. In amongst all the furore generated in the Kyrgios circus, he has managed to capture two titles this season. Titles in Mexico and Washington are a testament to his undeniable talent. He still seems unable to transfer that type of form onto the Grand Slam stage. But it’s been his on-court antics that have truly baffled, including drama with Rafa Nadal in Mexico. But it was a fairly demented breakdown in Cincinnati that has left many calling for more action. Just recently. Patrick Rafter joined the likes of Rod Laver in suggesting that perhaps a temporary ban from the game could prove beneficial. A shoulder injury flared up after his defeat to Roger Federer at the Laver Cup, which may prove impactful during this opening game.

In many ways Andreas Seppi represents the polar opposite of Kyrgios. At 35 years of age, Seppi is the consummate journeyman pro. He has various wins on his CV with four hardcourt finals to his name. His most recent appearance in a final came at the beginning of this year, with an excellent run to the final of the Sydney International. It was his first appearance in a hardcourt final since the 2012 Kremlin Cup. 2019 hasn’t exactly been the most productive period post-Sydney. But at least he enters this event with a semblance of form, having won a recent Challenger event in Cary.

This will be their fitth meeting, with Kyrgios holding a commanding 3-1 advantage. Their last meeting came in Acapulco earlier this season, with Kyrgios winning with ease. But the Kyrgios crazy factor always makes him a difficult sell as a resounding favourite. Having said that, perhaps Kyrgios’ experience in the team environment of the Laver Cup will have helped him, allowing him to divorce himself from his whole ‘me against the world’ pity parade. Kyrgios to win in straight sets at 12/10 looks fairly decent. 

Written by Damien Kayat for Hollywoodbets.