ATP Tokyo Final – Nishikori v Raonic
This is Raonic’s third consecutive final in Tokyo. Two years ago he lost to Nishikori and last year it was Del Potro who beat him. This year he is playing the best tennis of his career. He hasn’t dropped a set so far. He has faced just 3 break points all week and hasn’t been broken.
There are doubts over Nishikori’s fitness. Aren’t there always? I am not really factoring that into my selection. He has faced 11 break points this week and has been broken 4 times. He won the tournament last week and as his body has been fragile in the past a lot of people expected him to break down but he seems to have improved his fitness and is more able to play a lot of tennis and keep going. He struggled against Young but then blew away Chardy who started well but then faded badly. He needed three sets to beat Becker.
Nishikori is on home soil and would love to win it again for the home crowd. He fell at the quarter finals last season having taken the title in 2012.
Nishikori leads the head to heads and has won both their hard court matches but I think it’s time for a shift towards the Canadian.
Raonic starts at 1.80 which seems like a decent price.
WTA China Open Final – Kvitova v Sharapova
Kvitova won the title last week and seems to be showing some of the effects of 2 long weeks. She had a medical time out against Stosur and said herself that she didn’t know how she won that match.
Her level of play has declined a little in each round
Sharapova is playing better tennis than I have seen from her in quite a while. Her performance levels have improved as she moved through the rounds. She deals with the pressure of finals extremely well and I have little doubt that she wins this one. She has won their last 4 meetings and leads the head to heads 5-2. One of Kvitova’s was due to Sharapova retiring and the other was in the 2011 Wimbledon final. In Sharapova’s 5 wins Kvitova took just 1 set.
Sharapova starts at 1.51 and whilst I would prefer a higher entry price on her I was hoping for that in her semi final. She took the opening set 6-0.
I will still wait for a higher entry. I expect Kvitova to fade as the match progresses but think she will try to starts fast to get the match won quickly. She won’t have the fitness to win a long match.