Johanna Konta v Shuai Zhang
This is a match up that I thought Johanna Konta would enjoy when these players met in Wuhan and the British player didn’t fail to cover this number. I think she can get the better of Shuai Zhang again in this Quarter Final in Beijing and once again I am going to back Konta to get the better of this number.
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There were moments in the second set last week where Konta played a little too loosely behind her own serve which allowed Zhang to stay with her for a while. However she once again showed she has a clear edge when it comes to the serve and setting up her points compared with Zhang and I like the chances of Konta progressing in this one too.
You can’t take anything away from Zhang who crushed Simona Halep in the Third Round, but Konta also had an impressive win when beating Karolina Pliskova. It has been some impressive serving from Zhang which has taken her through the draw this week, but she has struggled when trying to cope with the heavy shots Konta can produce from both sides of the court.
This could be a very big week for Konta who is trying to get into the WTA Finals elite eight and I think she enjoys the match up with Zhang. I am expecting her to be too strong for her for the third time in 2016 and I like Konta finding a way to a 64, 63 win in this one.
Tennis Handicap Pick: Johanna Konta -4.5 Games at 1.94 with Pinnacle
Grigor Dimitrov v Rafael Nadal
This is a very interesting Quarter Final between two players who have something to prove in the final weeks of the 2016 season that can give them some momentum to take into the 2017 season. Both Grigor Dimitrov and Rafael Nadal will feel they should be achieving more than they have in 2016 and will be hoping a return to form and overcoming injuries makes 2017 a much more memorable season.
There is much motivation for both Dimitrov and Nadal going into this Quarter Final and I think the match is closer than the layers believe. Of course Nadal has a significant edge in the head to head having won all seven previous matches, but the last of those came twelve months ago and many of their matches have been competitive.
It is very important for Dimitrov to serve well as he won’t want to be drawn into too many rallies where his one-handed backhand takes on the Nadal forehand. Over the years that proved to be the undoing of Roger Federer in matches against Nadal and the similar style of play does mean it is an area where Nadal can have some success.
Overall Dimitrov’s game has to be close to his very best in this match to make it a close match, but he has been playing some solid tennis over the last few weeks. His manner of defeat against Andy Murray at the US Open is a concern, but Dimitrov has looked better in recent weeks and finally looks to be getting over the poor form that has been blighting his game for some time.
Nadal has been looking strong so far this week in Beijing but this is the biggest challenge he will have faced and I am still not convinced he is back to his very best. His opponent has been playing well enough to take a set in this one and that might be enough for Dimitrov to keep this close enough to stay within this number.
Tennis Handicap Pick: Grigor Dimitrov +3.5 Games at 2.13 with Eastbridge
Prices correct at time of writing.