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Race to join Djokovic in London to warm up at China and Japan Open

05 Oct | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Race to join Djokovic in London to warm up at China and Japan Open

The players eligible to qualify for the World Tour Finals compete in ATP 500 events this week - but those in Beijing must overcome the world No. 1

Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka have already secured their place at next month’s World Tour Finals.

The four players joining them at the lucrative season-ending event at the O2 in London will be decided between now and early November.

Of the 11 players who remain in contention, six compete in Beijing this week, while five are in Tokyo.

Both events offer 500 ATP ranking points for the winner, but it is the former that presents a sterner challenge.

That is because the China Open is headlined by Novak Djokovic, the world No. 1 who plays for the first time since claiming his third Grand Slam of the season – and 10th of his career – at the US Open last month.

Djokovic makes his sixth appearance at the tournament and has won the previous five.

The Serbian beat Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-2 in last year’s final – a victory that extended his unbeaten run there to 24 matches and aggregate set score to 51-3.

There is unlikely to be an end-of-season slump for the top seed, either.

Because while his participation has probably been incentivised by a hearty appearance fee, Djokovic relishes playing in the Far East, where he is afforded a warmer welcome than is customary in other parts of the world.

The 28-year-old has won seven titles already in 2015 and is 1/2 to make it eight.

Berdych, last year’s runner-up and winner at the 250-point Shenzhen Open on Sunday, is the second seed.

The Czech won the event in 2011 and joins Djokovic and third seed Rafael Nadal as previous winners.

Nadal’s triumph was 10 years ago, although he did win his 2008 Olympic gold medal at this week’s National Tennis Center venue.

Nadal and Berdych are 8/1 and 9/1 respectively to end the dominance of Djokovic.

The Japan Open, meanwhile, is led by Wawrinka, the two-time Slam winner who is 7/2 to clinch his first title since his magnificent French Open victory in June.

But the player commanding the most attention, naturally, is home favourite Kei Nishikori.

The world No. 6 is the defending champion, having triumphed on home soil for the second time in three years 12 months ago.

Both of those titles were achieved against the Canadian Milos Raonic and the 25-year-old Japanese is 13/5 to claim his fourth title of the year.

Marin Cilic produced a creditable title defence at Flushing Meadows – reaching the semi-finals before being well beaten by Djokovic – and the Croatian is 10/1 to triumph in his first appearance at the tournament since 2007.

Certainly, the incentive of reaching the prestigious World Tour Finals – which also offers plentiful pre-Australian Open ranking points – ensures the Asian and European swings are fiercely competitive.

The race to join Djokovic et al is on.

China Open betting

Japan Open betting

READ: Andy Murray should defy ATP orders and skip World Tour Finals

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