Shenzhen Challenger Quarterfinal Predictions Including Go Soeda vs Zhizhen Zhang

Go Soeda Shenzhen Challenger
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Day four at the Shenzhen Longhua Open saw the top two seeds, Kwon Soon-woo and Yuichi Sugita, knocked out of the tournament. The third and fourth seeds, Go Soeda of Japan and Taiwan’s Jason Jung, look set for a tough challenge in Friday’s quarterfinals. But who will book their place in the last four at the Shenzhen Challenger?

Shenzhen Challenger Quarterfinal Predictions

Mohamed Safwat vs Denis Yevseyev

Head-to-head: Safwat 2-2 Yevseyev

Denis Yevseyev has been playing good tennis for a while without quite getting the rewards his level deserved. But over the past month in China, the Kazakh looks to have finally achieved a breakthrough. He reached the second round in both Ningbo and Liuzhou, but was beaten by Canada’s Steven Diez on both occasions. However, it proved to be third time lucky for Yevseyev in Shenzhen as he beat Diez comprehensively before edging past Russia’s Teymuraz Gabashvili, 6-4 5-7 7-6.

Mohamed Safwat, in contrast, arrived in Shenzhen in poor form. Indeed, the Egyptian had been on the wrong end of a 0-6 5-7 defeat at the hands of Yevseyev in Ningbo. But he has turned things around at the Shenzhen Challenger, beating Ivan Nedelko and top seed Kwon after a first-round bye to reach the quarterfinals. And whilst he did lose badly to the Kazakh recently, he lost a similarly one-sided match to Yevseyev in 2013 before beating him 6-2 6-0 barely a month later. The Egyptian has the advantage in terms of experience and a solid and well-balanced game to back it up. Expect him to bury the bad memories from Ningbo.

Prediction: Safwat in 3

Roman Safiullin vs Li Zhe

Head-to-head: first meeting

Roman Safiullin was one of the best performers on the ITF World Tennis Tour in the first half of the season, even getting to ITF world #1. His results have rather tailed off since, but he has looked sharp so far at the Shenzhen Challenger. In his opener, he beat Ukraine’s Danylo Kalenichenko 7-6 6-4 before benefiting from Denis Istomin’s retirement in the deciding set of their second-round clash. The 22-year-old took full advantage of his good fortune, rallying from the brink of defeat to stun second seed Yuichi Sugita.

The 33-year-old Li Zhe, meanwhile, has enjoyed a generally strong season, although he failed to make an impact on the main tour during the Asian swing, losing in the first round in Chengdu, Beijing and Shanghai. But on the Challenger Tour, the Chinese has enjoyed more success, having reached back-to-back quarterfinals in Liuzhou and now Shenzhen, where he has beaten Malek Jaziri, albeit via a third-set retirement, and Enrique Lopez Perez. But he seems likely to be overpowered by Safiullin here.

Prediction: Safiullin in 2
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Jason Jung vs Frederico Ferreira Silva

Head-to-head: first meeting

The past two months have been the most successful of Frederico Ferreira Silva’s career. In September, the Portuguese defeated former-world #39 Matthew Ebden in Jinan before getting the better of world #90 and top seed Kamil Majchrzak en route to the final in Kaohsiung. As a result of his solid run of results, Ferreira Silva currently sits at a career-high 202nd in the world and has looked full of confidence so far in Shenzhen, beating Cui Jie of China and the Taiwanese players Tsung-Hua Yang and Chun-Hsin Tseng.

However, he may find their countryman Jason Jung a tougher test. Jung has been a solid top 150 player for some time and, although he has as yet failed to make the transition to the main tour, he continues to play well at Challenger-level. After a first-round bye, he comfortably dispatched Bruno Sant’Anna and Wu Ting-lin to make the quarterfinals. This one looks set to go the distance, but although Ferreira Silva covers the court impressively, Jung’s greater offensive capability should prove the difference.

Prediction: Jung in 3
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Go Soeda vs Zhang Zhizhen

Head-to-head: Zhang 2-0 Soeda

This pair met just in early September in the final of Jinan Challenger with the 23-year-old Zhang Zhizhen scoring his second victory over Soeda to claim his first title at Challenger-level. The Chinese then had a good run during the main tour’s Asian swing, beating Dominik Koepfer, who made the fourth round at the US Open, in Zhuhai and Kyle Edmund, once ranked as high as 15th in the world and a former-semifinalist at Melbourne Park, at the China Open.

Soeda, meanwhile, is at a rather different stage of his career. The 34-year-old is a Challenger Tour veteran, having amassed 18 titles throughout his career. He has also had some good results at ATP level, most recently at the Japan Open where he beat Jan-Lennard Struff before testing world #1 Novak Djokovic in the second round. But he may be in for a tough day at the office against Zhang who, after a first-round bye, hammered Goncalo Oliveira 6-0 6-1 before his round of 16 opponent Borna Gojo retired trailing 2-6 1-2. Soeda will likely put up more resistance, but expect Zhang to prevail once again.

Prediction: Zhang in 3

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