It’s been four years, but we finally have ourselves a Masters 1000 at ATP Shanghai once more. Apart from Novak Djokovic, there are very few top ranked players missing the event so it’ll be interesting to see who emerges victorious in a stacked field. On the first day of action in China, we’ve looked to predict some of the first-round matches, including Brandon Nakashima vs Bernabe Zapata Miralles. But who will advance?
ATP Shanghai Day 1 Predictions
Max Purcell vs Yu Hsiou Hsu
Head-to-head: Purcell 3-1 Hsiou Hsu
Max Purcell and Yu Hsiou Hsu have met four times on the lower levels of the tour, but the one match that really sticks out is their meeting in South Korea earlier this year. Both players were far closer to the form they’re showing now, and Purcell managed to win the match without too many hitches.
It is undoubtedly Purcell who’s shown the most progress since the start of this rivalry, as he’s gotten far more comfortable hanging in rallies whilst still disrupting his opponents with different looks and spins. Purcell should be considered the favourite here, even in the humid conditions.
Prediction: Purcell in 2
Marton Fucsovics vs Denis Yevseyev
Head-to-head: First meeting
It’s been a strange year for Marton Fucsovics. He’s defeated seriously good players in fantastic fashion but he’s also sustained some pretty strange losses. Maybe the fitness isn’t quite what it used to be when he was in the top 40 but we’re expecting a dip or two.
Meanwhile, qualifier Denis Yevseyev will have had plenty of time to acclimatize to the conditions. He’s also in the form of his life, having gone deep in four Challengers in the last couple of months, including a title in Astana. We’re still expecting Fucsovics to be a step too far in quality for Yevseyev, but the Kazakhstani’s firepower could lend itself to winning a set.
Prediction: Fucsovics in 3
Brandon Nakashima vs Bernabe Zapata Miralles
Head-to-head: Nakashima 2-0 Zapata Miralles
Despite playing almost exclusively ATP events throughout the year, Brandon Nakashima’s ranking has plummeted to #123. The American hasn’t been performing particularly well on return, and his serve and backhand (the meat and potatoes of his game) haven’t been enough to carry him through to any wins.
Though he’s far more comfortable on clay, Bernabe Zapata Miralles might not actually be the sort of player he’d want to face in this sort of rut–someone with a booming serve that he could match blow for blow would be preferable. Unfortunately, with the Spaniard bound to make an under-confident Nakashima work for every single point, this is the sort of match he could lose.
Prediction: Zapata Miralles in 3
Main Photo Credit: Robert Deutsch – USA TODAY Sports