The ATP Beijing Open has the strongest ATP 500 draw of the season. That is in spite of four players withdrawing from the event. The quality of the tennis has lived up to expectations on the first three days. Yet day 4 still promises to be the best yet. Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner are two of the players in action. There are four round of 16 matches scheduled. Which players do you think will advance to the quarterfinals?
ATP Beijing Day 4 Predictions
Casper Ruud vs Tomas Martin Etcheverry
Head-to-head: First meeting
Both men have had very similar seasons. Positive runs at the French Open and one additional ATP 250 final on clay have been the highlights of their seasons. Neither player has had much success on hard courts in 2023. I also expect their strategies in this matchup to be similar. Both Ruud and Etcheverry will look to hit their heavy inside-out forehand into their opponent’s weaker backhand. Which player can do that most often is likely to come out on top. I think Ruud is slightly more adept at doing that on hard courts at his best. He gets the edge at the ATP Beijing Open.
Prediction: Ruud in 3
Jannik Sinner vs Yoshihito Nishioka
Head-to-head: Sinner 1-0 Nishioka
Usually, Nishioka likes playing hard hitters. Redirecting the pace of his opponent is the Japanese player’s biggest strength, which he did very well during his run to the final last week in Zhuhai. But Sinner is another level of hard-hitting. The Italian may not have the variety or consistency yet of Novak Djokovic or Carlos Alcaraz. However, I think a strong argument could be made that he consistently hits the ball harder than any player on the ATP Tour. It is likely that Nishioka will get overwhelmed in this ATP Beijing Open clash, as this is even faster than the pace he is used to redirecting. He also lacks enough variety in his game, which is what Sinner struggles with most.
Prediction: Sinner in 2
Holger Rune vs Grigor Dimitrov
Head-to-head: Rune 1-0 Dimitrov
These two played at Wimbledon this year, with Rune prevailing in a very tight four-set match. Dimitrov is having his best season in years, and he certainly has a chance. In addition, Rune’s victory against Auger-Aliassime in the opening round ended a run of four consecutive defeats. And the Dane still looked far below his best. Nonetheless, I am backing him to progress to the quarterfinals of the ATP Beijing Open. The grass of Wimbledon suited Dimitrov more than Rune, yet the Dane still won there. It is likely that the conditions in Beijing will suit Rune more. That makes him a slight favourite here.
Prediction: Rune in 3
Carlos Alcaraz vs Lorenzo Musetti
Head-to-head: Alcaraz 1-1 Musetti
Musetti has struggled against Top 10 players this year. That included a hammering from Alcaraz at the French Open, which makes this challenge look even more formidable. The moderately fast conditions at the ATP Beijing Open could at least help him somewhat. It gives the Italian a chance to get some free points on serve, and also to be aggressive with his forehand. But I still cannot see Musetti toppling the Spaniard. Alcaraz’s superior movement can be even more deadly on faster courts. Musetti is likely to feel rushed and out of position for much of this contest.
Prediction: Alcaraz in 2
Main Photo Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran – USA TODAY Sports