By Ros Satar

  • Kyle Edmund v Zhizhen Zhang [WC]
  • Cameron Norrie [Q] v Christian Garin
  • Dan Evans [Q] v Li Zhe [WC]
BEIJING, CHINA – The top three British men get their Beijing campaigns underway but with form wavering for Kyle Edmund, it becomes more a race to the British No. 1 spot.

 

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Kyle Edmund v Zhang Zhizhen [WC]

This week feels like do-or-die for current British No. 1 Kyle Edmund. He looked extremely rusty last week with a very disappointing first round exit, and is defending semi-final points here as he faces the Chinese No. 2 Zhang Zhizen (ranked No. 224 in the world).

Zhang, who has largely plied his trade this year in the ATP Challenger tour and even started the year in the Futures, before winning a round in Zhuhai last week.

A loss here would sound massive alarm bells for Edmund, whose season has been a little chaotic, to say the least.

Prediction: Kyle Edmund in straight sets.

 

Cameron Norrie [Q] v Christian Garin

Cameron Norrie in the first round at Roland Garros, 2018

Photo by Dave Shopland/BPI/REX/Shutterstock | Cameron Norrie in the first round at Roland Garros, 2018

Meanwhile Edmund’s conqueror Christian Garin takes on Cameron Norrie, who might have lost his spot as the British No. 2 but looked in very impressive form since the restart after the US Open. Even though he lost to Gael Monfils, he stayed largely toe-to-toe with the Frenchman in some very bruising rallies and he could well surprise us in the run in to the end of the season.

However Garin, who excited many earlier during the clay court season, and he was resolute against Edmund, with pinpoint accuracy that truly exploited Edmund’s rust and lack of movement.

Norrie is perhaps a bit more match sharp coming into this match, but Garin looks as though he is in for another solid spell.

Prediction: Garin in three sets.

 

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Dan Evans [Q] v Li Zhe [WC]

Dan Evans in the second round of the Nature Valley International , Eastbourne 2019

Dan Evans in the second round of the Nature Valley International , Eastbourne 2019 | (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for LTA)

The race is on for the top spot, and Dan Evans is now the best placed of the three Brits in action to make his mark. Another Chinese wildcard comes into play for Li Zhe, but as Evans found out last week, he can expect he can be pushed hard with the home crowd favourite.

However, he really ought to be able to count on an easy win here, but more importantly pick up some very useful points.

Edmund and Zhang are scheduled third on Lotus Court, not before 3:30pm (8:30am BST), Norrie and Garin are scheduled on Court Brad Drewett, not before 3:30pm (8:30am BST), with Evans and Li on the same court, not before 5pm (10am BST).

 

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