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Fans’ Guide to the week: October 4-10

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Originally published on: 04/10/10 13:00

Rakuten Japan Open

When? October 4-10 2010
Where? Tokyo, Japan
Event type: ATP World Tour 500
Surface: Hard

Prize money: $1,100,000

Draw size: S-32, D-16

2009 champion: Jo-Wilfred Tsonga

It’s all getting a bit tense on the Asian hard courts. Tokyo sees the return of Andy Roddick who has some vital points to collect if he is to compete in London next month and put his disappointing second round exit at Flushing Meadows behind him. At No.10 in the world, a semi-final appearance will see the American within touching distance of the World Tour Finals and in line to end the year in the top ten for the ninth consecutive year.

Last year’s champion Jo-Wilfred Tsonga begins his comeback after a painful knee injury forced him out of the US Open Series and the US Open. Rafael Nadal also continues a great hard court season in Tokyo and is looking add title No.7 to his 2010 trophy cabinet. The tournament also features Feliciano Lopez, Jurgen Melzer, Gael Monfils and Argentine David Nalbandian. Despite losing in the US Open third round, Nalbandian has a fine track record in the latter stages of the season having won in Basel, Shanghai and Paris previously.

ATP China Open

When? October 4-10 2010
Where? Beijing, China
Event type: ATP World Tour 500
Surface: Hard
Prize money: $2,100,000
Draw size: S-32, D-16
2009 champion: Novak Djokovic

Beijing brings back many fond memories for defending champ Novak Djokovic after he won an Olympic bronze medal in 2008. He returns to Beijing in his first tournament since the US Open, leading an impressive field as the top seed.

Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych, Robin Soderling and Fernando Verdasco are also among the the fantastic line-up in China. All have important points to gain and points to prove as the season edges towards a close. Like Djokovic, Murray also plays in his first event since the US Open and hopes to end a somewhat inconsistent year, by his standards, on a high as he debuts at the China Open. With London within touching distance for thew Scot, can he add a sixteenth title to his collection? Robin Soderling is just 125 points behind Murray in the rankings, making the path of both men through the draw all the more intriguing.

Verdasco is in need of some inspiration after falling at the first hurdle in Thailand, but after a great run at the US Open there is undoubtedly some life left in his season. Nikolay Davydenko, David Ferrer and Marin Cilic will also bid for the sought after title.

WTA China Open

When? October 4-10 2010
Where?
Beijing, China

Event type:
WTA PremierSurface: Hard
Prize money: $4,500,000
Draw size: S-60, D-28
2009 Champion: Svetlana Kuznetsova

There is an array of superstars hitting Beijing this week, with Caroline Wozniacki taking top billing and in contention to top the women’s world rankings at the expense of the crocked Serena Williams. We see the return of Venus Williams, Jelena Jankovic and Li Na as they all make bids to be named 2010 China Open Champion.

Maria Sharapova will also hope to get further than the first round this week, after stumbling at the first hurdle in Tokyo last week. A revived Francesca Schiavone – up to No.6 in the rankings this week – Vera Zvonareva and Samantha Stosur also top the seedings at the Beijing event.

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