The must-know storylines for the upcoming week in tennis at the China Open in Beijing and the Rakuten Japan Open in Tokyo.
The Watch List spotlights the must-know storylines for the upcoming week in tennis. This week, the ATP Tour moves to Beijing and Tokyo for the China Open and the Rakuten Japan Open, while the WTA's Asian swing continues with its Premier Mandatory-level event in Beijing as both tours near the year-end finals.
China Open (Beijing, China)
Ten of the ATP's top 20 are in action in Beijing this week and No. 1 Novak Djokovic leads the way as he looks to maintain his perfect record at the China Open. The five-time champ is joined by Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, John Isner, No. 7 David Goffin. No. 5 seed Milos Raonic lost in straight sets to Viktor Troicki on Monday and No. 8-seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga suffered from dizziness in his first round match and also fell short, losing to Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer.
On the women's side, the Premier Mandatory event is already underway, with main draw play kicking off on Saturday. Ana Ivanovic, Timea Bascinszky and Madison Keys all advanced, but No. 1-seed Simona Halep was forced to retire with a left ankle injury in her opening match against Lara Arruabarrena and No. 2-seed Petra Kvitova lost to Sara Errani in the first round. With the top two seeds out, Flavia Pennetta is the highest remaining seed at No. 3 and she is joined by Agnieszka Radwanska, Garbine Muguruza, who just moved up to a career-high No. 5 in the rankings, Ivanovic and Carla Suarez Navarro. Sloane Stephens knocked out No. 9-seed Karolina Pliskova but lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova in three sets on Monday. Playing in her first tournament since the U.S. Open, Eugenie Bouchard retired against Andrea Petkovic due to dizziness on Monday, while Roberta Vinci and Caroline Wozniacki also advanced to the second round.
Rakuten Japan Open (Tokyo, Japan)
Stan Wawrinka tops the draw in Tokyo, with Kei Nishikori, Gilles Simon, Richard Gasquet, Kevin Anderson, Marin Cilic, Feliciano Lopez and Grigor Dimitrov rounding out the top seeds. Nishikori will play American Sam Querrey, who beat Alexandr Dolgopolov in the second round after beating Borna Coric and Wawrinka will start off against Radek Stepanek. Donald Young is in the draw as a wildcard and will play against Cilic in the first round and Dimitrov opens against Benoit Paire.