Predicted Winners in BOLD
Tokyo’s draw seemed softer than Beijing’s at the outset, but I am not sure that the quality of the final four at each ATP 500 level event is terribly different.
(5) David Goffin VS (4) Marin Cilic – Cilic played well at Queen’s Club, Wimbledon, the Rio games, and Cincinnati. His mystifyingly poor US Open showing aside, Cilic has advantages in this match. His serve and the weight of his ground strokes should be able to push Goffin backwards. Goffin generates an impressive amount of power for a player with his slight build, but most of his power comes from timing and taking the ball early. If Cilic can push Goffin back, the match will be in Cilic’s racquet. Of course, Goffin is 2-0 vs. Cilic. Cilic has yet to execute what should be a straight forward, impose his game strategy. If Goffin returns well and makes Cilic move, my prediction will look awful.
(6) Nick Kyrgios VS (2) Gael Monfils – Gael has had a great 2016. His play at the Australian and US Opens was strong. He won DC and made deep inroads in North American hard court events throughout the summer. I think his momentum carries him past Nick Kyrgios.