ATP and WTA Tours head to China for prestigious event.
Both the men’s and women’s tours are in Beijing this week for the China Open. With tennis growing in popularity in China, the tournament gives local fans to see many of the world’s top players in the stadium that hosted the 2008 Olympics.
There’s also a strong men’s field in Tokyo this week for the Rakuten Japan Open. Keep reading for our preview of all this week’s tennis betting action.
China Open – Women’s
The Beijing Olympic Green Tennis Centre, purpose-built for the 2008 Olympic Games, is the venue for the China Open. Now an 11-court stadia, the centre boasts a 15,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof and space-age air-cooling technology to benefit players and spectators.
This year’s tournament is wide open considering the form and the health of the leading challengers. A fit Serena Williams would be the favourite to defend the title she won in 2013 but the US Open champion was forced to withdraw from the Wuhan Open last week because of a viral illness.
“I felt dizzy and nauseous in the first set and unfortunately couldn’t continue,” Williams said in a statement in which she apologised to fans. The 32 year old was joined on the sidelines by tenth seed Jelena Jankovic who was trailing 4-1 against American player Coco Vandeweghe when she quit because of a back problem.
The event in Wuhan also saw many of the leading China Open challengers surprisingly beaten in early rounds. World number two Simona Halep lost 2-6 6-2 6-3 to Garbine Muguruza while Maria Sharapova suffered a third-round loss in Wuhan to Swiss qualifier Timea Bacsinszky.
Petra Kvitova, Angelique Kerber and Eugenie Bouchard are in decent form and should do well in China while 2010 China Open champion Caroline Wozniacki followed up her recent run to the US Open final by reaching the Pan Pacific final in Tokyo a couple of weeks ago.
China Open – Men’s
There’s also a strong men’s field in Beijing including world number one Novak Djokovic. The Serb has won this event in four of the last five years, beating Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-4 in last year’s final. Nadal will also play in China alongside 2011 champion Tomas Berdych.
As he tries to gain vital ranking points to qualify for the ATP Tour Finals, Andy Murray has been given a wild-card to play in Beijing following his victory over Tommy Rebredo in the Shenzhen final. The world number 10 will join US Open champion Marin Cilic in the draw and is happy to be involved.
Murray said: “I’m excited to announce that I will play in the China Open. I have some great memories of playing tennis in China over the years, I love the country and there are plenty of passionate fans here who enjoy their tennis, so I’m looking forward to competing.”
Rakuten Japan Open
It’s rare that there are two ATP World 500 events in the same week but the men’s top twenty have been split as those players not in Beijing head to Tokyo for the Japan Open. The Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships is the longest-running ATP World Tour tennis tournament in Asia, first held in 1972.
The home crowd had plenty to cheer in 2012 when Kei Nishikori became the first homegrown winner of the title and the beaten US Open finalist is one of the favourites this week. Milos Raonic was the beaten finalist in Tokyo in 2013 and should go well while the top seed is Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka.
David Ferrer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Kevin Anderson also feature in a strong field.
It promises to be another cracking week of tennis ahead, be sure to check out all our in-play and pre-tournament odds and markets in our tennis betting hub throughout the week!