It’s strange that a semifinal of a tennis tournament is happening on Monday, but the ATP Zhuhai semifinals will take place with plenty of exciting names present. Aslan Karatsev further dented what has been a disappointing 2023 for Cameron Norrie, as he’ll get the chance to take on Yoshihito Nishioka. Meanwhile, Karen Khachanov continued his comeback with a gutsy three-set win over Mackenzie McDonald. He’ll face a similar test to McDonald in Sebastian Korda, who just won his quarterfinal match in superb fashion. Who will reach the finals?
ATP Zhuhai Semifinal Predictions
Aslan Karatsev vs Yoshihito Nishioka
Head-to-head: Nishioka 1-0
Karastev’s been rebuilding his form over the past few months, and has certainly had a confidence-fueling week in China. After a come-from-behind win over Matteo Arnaldi in the first round, he got a great win over Andy Murray, before following that up with a double-tiebreak victory over Cameron Norrie. Nishioka was shockingly bageled in his first set of the tournament but is yet to drop a set since then. The Japanese star tends to play similarly to Norrie, with both of their lefty and counterpunching games. Nishioka has more speed than Norrie, and he’ll be able to run down many of Karatsev’s powerful groundstrokes. Nishioka also won their only previous meeting last year in Paris, on similar fast courts to Zhuhai. While Nishioka certainly has the tools and ranking edge, I just feel that this is a tough stylistic matchup, and Karatsev is really showing some newfound confidence this week.
Prediction: Karatsev in 3
Karen Khachanov vs Sebastian Korda
The last time Khachanov and Korda played, it kicked off what has been an injury-fueled year for both players. Midway through their Australian Open quarterfinal, Korda had to retire with a wrist injury and was not able to play until late April. Later on in 2023, Khachanov faced a frustrating injury after the French Open, and is only recently on the comeback trail. While Khachanov has looked rusty this week, his three-set win over McDonald was an important and much-needed win. Korda will most likely utilize the same weapons McDonald has, great backhands and intelligent playing. It should be interesting to see how Khachanov adapts physically, as he hasn’t played three consecutive matches since May. This is certainly a flip-a-coin matchup with all of the unknowns and intangibles, but I just give the edge to Khachanov who seems to be playing with a lot of firepower, even if his game isn’t at 100% yet.
Prediction: Khachanov in 3
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