By Ros Satar
- Cameron Norrie [Q] v Gilles Simon | Simon leads H2H 1-0
- Kyle Edmund v Jeremy Chardy [Q] | Edmund leads H2H 2-1
- Andy Murray [WC] v Juan Ignacio Londero [Q] | First meeting
SHANGHAI, CHINA – Andy Murray, Kyle Edmund and Cameron Norrie all start their Shanghai campaigns on Monday – but who will advance?
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Cameron Norrie [Q] v Gilles Simon | Simon leads H2H 1-0
Current British No. 3 Cameron Norrie seems to be finishing the year on a strong run at the moment, as he was the sole qualifier after Dan Evans fell at the final hurdle. Norrie might have gone out to fellow Brit Andy Murray in Beijing, it was a decent run of matches with two qualifying rounds and a main draw win, and with two more wins in Shanghai, his match sharpness could be telling.
He will face one of the greatest grinders – a classic counter-puncher who will look to take the pace off his opponents’ shots and uses crafty angles and switches of direction and pace to keep them guessing.
He plays a wonderfully languid style which will make Norrie look like he is flailing in all directions with his looping forehand, but what has impressed particularly in this section of the season is how he has been able to go toe-to-toe with some of the best defensive players. He earned his set off Murray in Beijing, and although Norrie has had to work his way into main draws in the last two weeks with qualifying rounds, he does to look a bit more match sharp than Simon, who has only done a couple of tournaments since the US Open, and has not had a back to back win since Eastbourne.
Prediction: Norrie in three sets.
Kyle Edmund v Jeremy Chardy [Q] | Edmund leads H2H 2-1
British No. 1 Kyle Edmund will be desperate to snap this miserable five-match losing streak, and maybe should take some hope from his win over the Frenchman Jeremy Chardy at Roland Garros that was split over two days. Coming back after fading light stopped play at 5-5 in the fifth set, Edmund needed just 10 points to finish the job.
Since then though, his form has dipped with his last win coming in Montreal. He has lost two coaches this year – first when Fredrik Rosengren retired, having got him to the Australian Open semi-final and his first ATP title in Antwerp. Then he parted company with Mark Hilton, who had previously worked with Evans.
Edmund is defending quarter-final points here, and once his season has ended, needs a bit of a reset to regain some much-needed confidence. Chardy could give him chances – the Frenchman has a flat forehand but maybe his backhand can be a bit weaker, and his serve can be inconsistent at times.
Edmund ought to be able to count on a few free shots coming from a lot stronger serve than the Frenchman, and if he can move him around, he ought to battle his way to a win.
Prediction: Edmund in three sets.
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Andy Murray [WC] v Juan Ignacio Londero [Q] | First meeting
The comeback continues for Murray and he could look to grab a couple of matches here, starting with Juan Ignacio Londero. The Argentine sprang into the tennis consciousness early this year when he won his maiden title in Cordoba, coming from a set down in the final, and then handily picked up three wins at Roland Garros, and opted for the clay after Wimbledon with the Bastad final.
However, on the hard courts he is still searching for back to back main draws and in fact his two qualifying wins are his first on the hard courts since Wimbledon.
Murray made huge strides this week charging back up the rankings reaching the Beijing quarter-finals, as he continues his comeback. His movement has looked good, and if anything, he has just looked a little fatigued as matches has gone on.
Murray of course used to have the capability of running everything down all day long, and that is very much still his go-to in matches, but he has looked to cut points shorter to get the job done. He did that to good effect against Norrie in Beijing, and he might need to do that to disrupt the Argentinian clay-courter.
However, facing someone for the first time does throw up challenges and Murray will need to work him out quickly, and hope that his experience will come to the fore, rather than staying power to try and conserve energy.
Prediction: Murray in straight sets.
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Norrie and Simon are scheduled first on Grandstand Court 2 at 12:30pm (5:30am BST) with Edmund and Chardy third on the same court, not before 3:30pm (8:30am BST). Murray and Londero are scheduled on Centre Court 1, not before 6:30pm (11:30am BST).
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