From Sushi To Scintillating Matchups In Tokyo

  • Posted: Oct 15, 2023

From Sushi To Scintillating Matchups In Tokyo

Fritz to play Norrie in the first round

The stars have enjoyed their time off court in Tokyo — Felix Auger-Aliassime and Alexander Zverev made sushi on Saturday. But they will now turn their attention to the ATP 500 action on the court at the Kinoshita Group Japan Open Tennis Championships.

Fans in Tokyo will be treated to tantalising encounters from the first round, headlined by a Top 20-showdown between top seed Taylor Fritz and Cameron Norrie.

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The headlining battle between two former ATP Masters 1000 champions is for more than just a place in the second round. The result will have major ramifications in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin.

Fritz is in ninth place, 145 points behind Holger Rune, who currently holds the final qualifying spot. Norrie, who is 17th in the Live Race, will try to damage the top seed and defending champion’s Turin pursuit. The pair has split 12 previous Lexus ATP Head2Head clashes, eight of which have gone to a deciding set.

Third seed Zverev, who is seventh in the Live Race, will begin his tournament against Jordan Thompson while eighth seed Auger-Aliassime will face Aleksandar Vukic.

Shanghai champion Hubert Hurkacz will try to maintain his momentum against Zhang Zhizhen and second seed Casper Ruud will try to hold off Japanese wild card Yosuke Watanuki.

Other matches to watch include fourth seed Alex de Minaur taking on British qualifier Jack Draper, and sixth seed Frances Tiafoe playing Aslan Karatsev in a battle of former major semi-finalists. In a generational clash, Argentine No. 1 Francisco Cerundolo will face former Argentine No. 1 Diego Schwartzman.

Did You Know?
Eight of the Top 15 players in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin are competing this week in Tokyo. 

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