We're already a few days into the China Open, and already there have been more than a few notable upsets.
The most notable shockers have all occurred on the women's side, as world No. 5 Petra Kvitova lost to Carla Suarez Navarro in the second round, according to Xinhuanet.com, and on the men's side, Marin Cilic—who finished last year's China Open as the runner-up—fell on Monday.
But fortunately, most of the big names are still very much in on the action. The top two men's seeds, Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer, and the top two women's seeds, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova, are all very much in the mix, though it hasn't necessarily been easy for one of them.
On Monday, Azarenka dominated in her match against Alize Cornet, winning 6-1, 6-0, while Sharapova was tested a bit more against Simona Halep, but won 7-5, 7-5.
There's still plenty of tennis to be played the rest of the week. Here's where and when to watch it.
Where: China National Tennis Center, Beijing
When: Friday, September 28, to Sunday, October 7
Live Stream: TennisTV.com
Tuesday's Top Matchups
|12:30 p.m. (12:30 a.m. ET)||Na Li vs. Nadia Petrova||TennisTV.com|
|3 p.m. (3 a.m. ET)||Denis Istomin vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga||TennisTV.com|
|After above matchup||Novak Djokovic vs. Michael Berrer||TennisTV.com|
|7:30 p.m. (7:30 a.m. ET)||Victoria Azarenka vs. Sabine Lisicki||TennisTV.com|
|After above matchup||Yen-Hsun Lu vs. David Ferrer||TennisTV.com|
|12:30 p.m. (12:30 a.m. ET)||Tommy Haas vs. Mikhail Youzhny (Lotus Court)||TennisTV.com|
**Remaining matchups and times for the rest of the week are TBA
Top Men's Player to Watch: Novak Djokovic
Despite the fact that he's coming off yet another disappointing end to his most recent major—a loss to Andy Murray in the U.S. Open final—Djokovic should bounce back just fine for the China Open.
If he wins once again in Beijing, it will be no surprise: Djokovic is undefeated at the event, according to the Independent. He's only played in it twice before (he missed the 2011 edition due to injury), but in two entries, he has two victories.
Djokovic told the Independent:
I really, really want to do well here. I won the bronze medal in these courts [at the Beijing Olympics in 2008], so I have really nice memories from this tournament.
Plus, he told the newspaper that he'd do a "Gangnam Style" imitation on the courts this week, so regardless of whether or not he wins, the fans are in for a treat.
Top Women's Player to Watch: Victoria Azarenka
The top seed on the women's side has had no problem exerting her dominance thus far, even in a limited sample size—which should come as no surprise, given her success in 2012. She's already won the Australian Open this year, and even though a victory at the China Open wouldn't quite rank up there with her most recent major, it would still be pretty nice to come out on top.
Getting off on the right foot was a necessity for Azarenka on Monday, and she did just that, defeating Cornet with ease. The victory was even more impressive, given the fact that she had to withdraw from the Pan Pacific Open last week due to dizziness, according to ESPN.co.uk.
On the men's side, Djokovic is a solid bet to win. Not only is his track record at the China Open pristine, but he's been playing remarkably well this summer, despite the fact that he hasn't won a major since the Australian Open.
On the women's side, it will be a treat for the fans if this one comes down to Sharapova vs. Azarenka, but Sharapova is going to have to get a lot stronger if she's going to make it to the end of the week. As it stands, though, even if she does, Azarenka seems too formidable to be stopped.
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