ATP 2018 Tokyo Open Draw: Preview & Analysis
Oct 3 3 min read10:49 am
Tokyo will be host to the 45th edition of the Rakuten Open that will be played on indoor hard courts. The 2018 edition will include six players from the Top 20 headlined by Marin Cilic as the top seed. Defending champion David Goffin was forced to end his season after a right elbow injury and hence won't be back to defend his title. Two-time champion and home favourite Kei Nishikori is seeded third for the event. This is how the rest of the field is drawn against each other.
Top Half: Cilic, Raonic, Schwartzman, Chung, Wawrinka
Marin Cilic has been to the semi-finals of the Tokyo Open in each of his last two appearances and being the top seed this year will be a great push for him to reach the final four stage for the third consecutive year. Cilic makes a return to the tour for the first time since his quarter-final loss at the US Open. He’ll be facing Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round who replaced Lucas Pouille in the main draw. Cilic won their lone meeting at Sydney in 2014. The winner will face either Jeremy Chardy or Damir Dzumhur in the next round. Stanislas Wawrinka marks his first appearance in Tokyo since winning the title in 2015. The Swiss will play his first round match against Taylor Fritz. The winner will face a Next Gen player in the second round - Denis Shapovalov or Hyeon Chung. Last year at the ATP Next Gen finals, Chung defeated Shapovalov in the Round Robin stage in four sets. Both Shapovalov and Chung enter Tokyo after suffering early round exits at Shenzhen and Chengdu respectively.
Fourth seed Diego Schwartzman faces qualifier Daniil Medvedev for the first time in his career. Schwartzman has won only 9 of 17 matches on hard court this year whereas Medvedev has a much better winning ratio, triumphing in 26 of the 34 matches on hard. The victor will face the winner of Steve Johnson and Martin Klizan in the next round. Klizan has never won a set against Johnson in their two career meetings. Robin Haase will face Japanese qualifier Yosuke Watanuki in the first round. The winner will face Adrian Mannarino or Milos Raonic in the next round. Raonic has been a three-time runner-up at Tokyo and is 1-1 against Mannarino in head to head meetings.
Probable semi-finals: Cilic vs Raonic
Bottom Half: Anderson, Tsitsipas, Nishikori, Gasquet, Kyrgios
Wildcard entrant Taro Daniel will face fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the opening round. The winner will face Alex de Minaur or Gilles Simon in the next round. 2015 runner-up Benoit Paire will face Nicolas Jarry for the second time this year. Paire won the first meeting in three sets at Barcelona. In an all-Japanese clash, Kei Nishikori will face Yuichi Sugita in the first round. While Nishikori reached the semi-finals at Metz, Sugita heads into Tokyo after a first round exit at Shenzhen. A sixth career meeting between Paire and Nishikori might be on the cards.
Nick Kyrgios and Richard Gasquet are likely to face each other for the eighth time this week if both the players are able to get past their opening round matches. Kyrgios takes on wildcard entrant Yoshihito Nishioka whereas Gasquet will face qualifier Denis Kudla in the first round. Matthew Eben replaced David Goffin in the draw and will face second seed Kevin Anderson in the first round. The victor will face the winner of Frances Tiafoe and Maximilian Marterer.
Probable semifinals: Anderson vs Tsitsipas