By Jake Davies

  • Aljaz Bedene adds another match in the winning column in Beijing first round, defeats Marcel Granollers [Q] 6-4, 6-2
  • Bedene vs Roberto Bautista Agut [5]
BEIJING, CHINA -The British No.3 Aljaz Bedene started off his Asian swing with a fantastic win over the qualifier Marcel Granollers in the first round of the China Open in Beijing.


Aljaz Bedene defeats Marcel Granollers [Q] 6-4, 6-2

From the beginning of the match British No. 3 Aljaz Bedene kept his foot on the accelerator. He made the match a torrid experience for Marcel Granollers as he struck his forehand unbelievably and controlled the course of a lot of the rallies, hitting with magnificent depth and ensuring that his opponent could not get on the front foot and transition into the forecourt.

Bedene needed just the single break of serve to attain the first set as he dropped only five points on serve in that set, but his relentlessness in the second set and determination to rubber stamp his authority on serve allowed him to dominate proceedings in the second set as well, where he faced no break points and conceded just the one point on his first serve.

It was a clever, assured, measured performance from Bedene. He recognised the strengths of his opponent and tried to nullify the dangers that his opponent presented. We rarely got to see the outstanding net-play of Granollers, but that was largely down to the quality of ball strike from the baseline by the Brit that prevented Granollers from feeling confident in his approach game.

A straight-sets win is a perfect start for Bedene, but he now faces No.5 seed Roberto Bautista Agut, who is ranked inside the World’s Top 15 and has built a very good career in singles inside the last two years on tour.


Aljaz Bedene vs Roberto Bautista Agut [5] H2H: Tied at 2-2

Bautista Agut will be a tough nut to crack for the Brit. This Spaniard moves around the court as well as Bedene does, but he also can pack a punch in terms of the velocity of his groundstrokes, which is something that Granollers could not offer in baseline exchanges.

The good thing for Bedene is that he has seen off Bautista Agut twice in the past, including a meeting on the hardcourt, so the task in front of him is doable, but Bautista Agut is a tireless workhorse that expects nothing less than 100% from himself and that is very much why he has beaten some of the best players in the world, including Novak Djokovic, who was placed at the top of the world rankings at the time of that defeat.

Prediction: Bautista Agut in three sets


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