By Jake Davies
- Aljaz Bedene vs Paolo Lorenzi
- Kyle Edmund vs Jiri Vesely
SHANGHAI, CHINA – Aljaz Bedene and Kyle Edmund will be targeting a boost in their respective rankings with good runs at this event this week in the penultimate Masters of the year.
Kyle Edmund vs Jiri Vesely H2H: Edmund leads 1-0
A win for Edmund would provide valuable ranking points at one of the bigger stages on the tennis calendar and would aid him in his quest to finish the season as a Top 50 player, but also to make the Brit feel like he is doing the right things and working in the right direction going into the 2018 season, which will help his confidence enormously.
The two did meet in the Miami Masters in 2016, where Edmund got the better of Vesely, but the conditions will be totally different. Miami plays like a very slow hardcourt, whereas the courts in Shanghai are one of the fastest surfaces in the world.
The good thing for Edmund is that Vesely has not really been posting consistent match-wins since the tour moved onto the hardcourt, which many would say gives the Brit that slight advantage going into this first round matchup.
Prediction: Edmund in two sets
Aljaz Bedene vs Paolo Lorenzi H2H: Tied at 1-1
The real concern for many British fans will be whether Bedene has recovered from the knee problem that hindered his progress in the China Open in Beijing just last week. In that match, Bedene lost all ten games to Roberto Bautista Agut, before retiring deep into the second set, in just his second loss by retirement in two years.
The matchup against Lorenzi is an interesting one. The Italian loves the red clay and that is his favourite surface by far, but he does tend to make surprising runs on the hard court as well. He made the Round of 16 at the US Open, losing to eventual finalist Kevin Anderson and Lorenzi has also beaten Bedene this season, in Umag.
At the age of 35, Lorenzi is one of the older generation of players that are finding sparkling tennis at an older age, but I think Bedene has the edge on a hard court if he is fully healthy.
Prediction: Bedene in two sets
Edmund is scheduled to play on Monday, not before 4pm (9am BST).
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