China Open and Japan Open 2017: ATP Championship Predictions

Dear readers,  Sorry about not posting semifinal predictions for either event.  I was sick (2017 has not been great with my health).  Here are my takes on the two championship matches.

China Open: Rafael Nadal vs. Nick Kyrgios

Rafa has been pushed in this event.  He has also responded.  A win here puts Roger Federer in a very tough spot for achieving the #1 ranking in 2017.  Nick Kyrgios’ serve can be paralyzing and does undermine some of Nadal’s grinding.  Their head-to-head is tied at 2-2.  If Kyrgios comes out clicking, he could overwhelm Rafa who may be worn down from a long season and a tough path to the final.  That is more or less what happened in Cincinnati.  Still, I think Rafa has to be the pick until someone starts beating him with regularity.

My Prediction: Rafael Nadal d. Nick Kyrgios 7-5, 7-6

Japan Open: David Goffin vs. Adrian Mannarino

This match pits a player who won last week against an unexpected finalist.  Mannarino is a rugged competitor who is proving to be tough to eliminate.  Goffin is back from an injury and is riding a 2 week winning streak.  Goffin’s ability to take the ball early, generate surprising power, and return serve well all make me lean toward him.  Also, Goffin leads their head-to-head 2-0 and has more overall experience.

My Prediction: David Goffin d. Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-3


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