Japanese Favorites Kei Nishikori, Taro Daniel, and Yoshihito Nishioka Target 2018 ATP Tokyo Title
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
Both home and international talent feature at the ATP 500 Japan Open in Tokyo. Here is your look at all the upcoming action from Japan’s only ATP World Tour tournament.
Marin Cilic had a strong hard court summer, but he’ll get a tough start to the Asian swing as his section begins with J.L. Struff, and is then set to feature Jeremy Chardy/Damir Dzumhur in round 2, and a tough quarterfinal opponent, between Stan Wawrinka/Taylor Fritz or Denis Shapovalov/Hyeon Chung. Wawrinka has come back into form and I’ll back him against Fritz, a semifinalist in China last week, and Shapovalov/Chung, with Cilic still favored to advance from his section.Embed from Getty Images
Milos Raonic will be favored in section 2, the big serving Canadian faces a struggling Adrian Mannarino first, with either Robin Haase or qualifier Yosuke Watanuki up in round 2. I’ll back qualifiers Daniil Medvedev and Martin Klizan to win their first round matches, with Klizan, a finalist in St. Petersburg, defeating Steve Johnson, and Medvedev edging #4 seed Diego Schwartzman. Raonic over Medvedev is my pick for the section.Embed from Getty Images
Kevin Anderson will be favored in his first two matches against Matt Ebden and Frances Tiafoe/Max Marterer. Ebden has played well enough to suggest he has a shot against Anderson but he’s still the underdog. Nick Kyrgios should be favored against Shenzhen champ and home favorite Yoshihito Nishioka, and I’ll give him the edge, if focused and fit, against Richard Gasquet. Gasquet opens with Denis Kudla and he’s not in great form, Anderson over Kyrgios is my quarterfinal pick.Embed from Getty Images
Kei Nishikori‘s section has him starting out against countryman Yuichi Sugita, he should win that and also defeat Benoit Paire/Nicolas Jarry in round 2. Metz champ Gilles Simon has a tough match with Alex De Minaur, a semifinalist last week, first up. Simon should win that and also upset Stefanos Tsitsipas (or Taro Daniel), as his form is better than the young Greek. Nishikori over fellow veteran Simon should be the outcome of section 3.Embed from Getty Images
Cilic d. Raonic
Nisihkori d. Anderson
I’ll back Kei at home against a host of bigger hitters, while Cilic or Raonic should be equally favored to emerge from the top half. This is a tough tournament to predict but Nishikori has the most at stake and should fight the hardest to win.
Nishikori d. Cilic