The ATP 500 double-header hard court tournament lights up the ATP Tour this week as Astana and Tokyo host some of the world’s best players.
Casper Road It is the highest outdoor seed in Rakuten Japan Open Tennis TournamentThe world number two is chasing his first hardcourt title of the season and the first ATP 500 trophy of his career. Nick Kyrgios He also plays in Japan, where the Australian is trying to add to his 2016 win in the tournament.
ATPTour.com looks at five things to watch for at every event.
Five things to see in Astana
1) The return of Alkaraz ranked No. 1 in the world: Alcaraz is set to compete in his first ATP Tour event since becoming the youngest World No. 1 player in Pepperstone ATP Rankings history with a victory in the US Open in September.
The 19-year-old will face the finalist in Sofia on Sunday Holger Ron On his championship debut in Kazakhstan as the Spaniard was chasing his third ATP 500 title the following season. Earlier this year, Alcaraz won mud in Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona.
2) Medvedev seeks an inner groove: Second seed Medvedev will also play hardcourt in Astana for the first time this week. The 26-year-old currently sits fifth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin as he seeks to qualify for the season finale in November. Nitto ATP Finals For the fourth year in a row.
Although falling into Stan Wawrinka In his first indoor game of 2022 at Metz 10 days ago, Medvedev can look at the fact that he has won six of his 14 Tour level titles on the indoor hard court for confidence as he prepares to compete. Albert Ramos Vinolas In the first round in Astana.
Follow this week’s procedure
3) Deal in Djokovic: Djokovic got off to a strong start to the hard court season in Tel Aviv, defeating the Serbian Marin Cilic In the final on Sunday. Djokovic will now head to Astana, where he will be the fourth seed on his debut as he chases after his first ATP 500 title since his 2020 win in Dubai.
4) Pepperstone ATP live race to Turin: With Alkaraz and the third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas Already qualified for Nitto ATP FinalsA group of top names have arrived in Astana looking to boost their chances of reaching the final of the season, which will be held in Turin from November 13-20.
Andrey Rublev (vi) and Felix Auger Eliassim (vii) Both are currently holding rehabilitation centers, while Hubert Hurkacz (Ninth) He could beat both of them in Kazakhstan for the title depending on their results. All three will make their debut in Astana this week.
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5) Can Puetz/Venus Seeds Boost Turin’s Hopes?: Dubai champions Tim Poetz And the Michael Venus They are aiming for their second ATP 500 class title for 2022 in Astana, where a strong run will also boost Nitto ATP Finals Hopes.
The German and Kiwi pair are currently ranked 8th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles team rankings. Among their competitors in Kazakhstan this week is the second seed Nikola Mechtic And the Matty Pavik (4th in the team doubles race), and Marcel Granollers And the Horacio Zeballos (5th in the team doubles race). Santiago Gonzalezwho won in Astana in 2021 side by side Andres Molteniplaying with Lucas Cobot.
Five things to see in Tokyo
1) Rod addresses field: Top seed Rudd arrives in Tokyo to chase his first ATP 500 title. The Norwegian excelled on the hard courts in 2022, reaching the finals on the rooftop in Miami in March and in US Open in September. The 23-year-old will hope to maintain this level as he begins his bid for his fourth ATP title this season. Jaume Munnar.
2) Chief US official Fritz and Tiafoe: This week in Tokyo could be crucial for Taylor FritzHe hopes to join Roode in the November qualifiers Nitto ATP Finals. The 23-year-old is 10th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, but has yet to win a match in his previous three main draw matches in the Japanese capital.
citizen fritz, Francis Tiafoethe fourth seed in Tokyo, where he returned to play for the first time since his defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas to grab laver cup For Team World in London a week ago. Brandon NakashimaAnd the Mackenzie McDonald And the Steve Johnson They are the other contenders who are looking to become the first American to win in Tokyo since then sampras house in 1996.
3) Former Champion Kyrgios: Kyrgios lifted his first ATP 500 title in Tokyo in 2016, and the Australian stalled is fifth for his first appearance in the event in four years. The 27-year-old has been in brilliance in recent months and holds the record 35-10 for the season, which includes a title in Washington and his first Grand Slam appearance in the final. Wimbledon.
4) Hope Nishioka homepage: Yoshihito Nishioka He couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to his home tournament. The highest-rated Japanese player in the Pepperstone ATP ratings Denis Shapovalov to lift his second ATP Tour title in Seoul on Sunday. Nishioka takes it upon himself Miomir Kikmanovic In the first round as he tries to become the first home winner in Tokyo since then Ki Nishikori He won the event for the second time in 2014.
5) Special Supreme Seed Ks: Kyrgios and Thansi Kokinakis They will begin their campaign to claim their third doubles title on the tour this season against duo Nishioka and Keichi Uchida in Tokyo. The Australians are currently seventh in the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles team rankings as they strive to reach Nitto ATP Finals for the first time.
Among the competitors of Kokinakis and Kyrgios in Tokyo this week Wimbledon Champions Matthew Ebden And the Max Purcellwhile a two-time champion and a home favorite Ben MacLachlanwho won in 2017 (w/Uchiyama) and 2018 (w/Struff), Partners Andre Goranson.