There are two ATP 250’s in China this week, both with a Wednesday start, with finals next Tuesday. Qualifying gets underway today in Chengdu and Zhuhai featuting plenty of Aussies. Chris O'Connell, Aleks Vukic and Jordan Thompson/Max Purcell to play each other will feature in the main draw of Chengdu, while Zhuhai has Rinky Hijikata in the main draw. These events will lead into Beijing also starting midweek, followed by the Shanghai Masters, which will be a 10 day event.
The Laver Cup also begins later this week in Vancouver, with what is probably not the strongest edition we’ve ever seen. But you would still expect some high quality tennis, and plenty of fun, with players including Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev, Gael Monfils, Taylor Fritz, and Frances Tiafoe.
Guadalajara 1000, Mexico:
Sadly, one of the weakest 1000 events we’ve seen for a long time. None of the top 6 players have entered, and only 9 of the top 20 are in the draw. Ons Jabeur , Maria Sakkari, Caroline Garcia, and Madison Keys are the top 4 seeds, and should see this has a huge opportunity to rack up valuable points as we head towards the end of year finals. For the Aussies, Storm Hunter has had a first up win today while Ajla Tomljanovic had a narrow R64 defeat to American Taylor Townsend.
Guangzhou 250, China:
Not a bad 250 event, considering there’s a 1000 event on the same week. Poland’s Magda Linette takes the top seeded position at a ranking of 27, while China’s Lin Zhu, at 31, will be hoping to take advantage of a home crowd to spur her on to her second title of the year. Daria Saville continues her comeback, after a pretty good showing against Iga Swiatek in New York. She will take on Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam in the first round, with one eye on a clash with Linette in round 2.
Parma 125, Italy:
Another nice event with some good depth here. Five top 100 players , including top seeds, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, Ana Bogdan, Clara Burel, and Viktoriya Tomova. Australia will be represented by Astra Sharma, who gains a special entry after taking out the 125 title in Bucharest, beating a similar field. Astra should gain a heap of confidence from that, and will be hoping to slingshot that into a late season run towards the top 100.
ATP Challenger Tour:
Bad Waltersdorf 125, Austria:
The inaugural event here has drawn four top 100 players, with all four representing Spain. Roberto Carbellas Baena, Bernabe Zapata Miralles, Jaume Munar, and Albert Ramos-Vinolas will be hoping to take a Spanish stranglehold on the event.
Saint-Tropez 125, France:
Not surprisingly considering the location, a strong field has turned out to play some tennis on the French Riviera. Plenty of talent on show, including Ugo Humbert, Sebastian Ofner (who, surprisingly didn’t play the event in Austria), Gregoire Barrere, and Richard Gasquet. Throw in Maxime Cressy, who just won the event in Rennes last week, Luca Nardi, and Michael Mmoh, and it should be a really competitive event.
Antofagasta 100, Chile:
Chilean tennis fans always turn out in big numbers, and there’s no reason to suggest this week will be any different. However, it’s Argentinian, Juan Manuel Cerundolo who takes the top seeded spot, as the only top 100 player in the field. After having to retire in the semi-finals last week though, there may be some doubt over his fitness. The two finalists from Bolivia last week, Mariano Navone, and Francisco Comesana, will be hoping for another big week in South America.
Columbus 75, USA:
Jordan Thompson took out this title last year, but he’s not backing up this year. There is a little Australian representation here though, with Adam Walton (scored a first round win) and Tristan Schoolkate gaining direct entry to what is a fairly weak draw, with Frenchman Enzo Couacaud the top seed, ranked 178.
Sibiu 75, Romania:
Sibiu has been holding this event for more than ten years now, with Jason Kubler holding the winners trophy back in 2014. Unfortunately for Australia, there’ll be no representation this week. Also unfortunately for Romania, there’s not a whole lot of talent at the top end, so it’s unlikely they’ll have a hometown winner in 2023. No top 100 players entered here, with Hungarian, Zsombor Piros the top seed, at 111.
Priscilla Hon will be looking for back to back titles, after taking out last weeks event in Perth. A very similar field is assembled, with Destanee Aiava, Maddison Ingles, and Japan’s Misaki Matsuda sitting just behind Hon in the rankings. Taylah Preston and Talia Gibson both had a wonderful week last week, and will be hoping to back that up again, gaining valuable points and experience.
The men are back in Darwin for the second week running, again with a similar field. The two Blake’s, Mott and Ellis will be again, big threats to take out the title. Blake Mott got the win last week over his namesake. Dayne Kelly is the highest ranked entrant, at 414, so while certainly not the strongest event, it gives plenty of Aussie men chances to gain more professional experience.