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Fritz vs. Norrie, De Minaur vs. Draper

Alex de Minaur

First-round motion on the ATP 500 in Tokyo continues on Tuesday, when seeds Taylor Fritz and Alex de Minaur take the courtroom. Fritz kicks off his marketing campaign towards Cameron Norrie, whereas De Minaur faces Jack Draper.

(1) Taylor Fritz vs. Cameron Norrie

It’s not usually {that a} participant ranked 18th on the earth is unseeded at any match, however that’s the case with Norrie on the Japan Open. The result’s a tough draw within the type of a first-round showdown with Fritz, the No. 1 seed, on Tuesday. They have already confronted one another a whopping 12 instances and the head-to-head collection is all tied up at six wins apiece. Dating again to the beginning of 2022, their final 4 conferences have all come in numerous group competitions (ATP Cup, Davis Cup, Laver Cup, United Cup) and so they have cut up these at 2-2.

Overall, nonetheless, this season has been an amazing one for Fritz and a battle for Norrie. Fritz is has received 51 matches and is available in at No. 10 on the earth; he’s ninth within the race to Turin, fewer than 200 factors behind Holger Rune for the eighth and ultimate spot. Norrie is 35-22 in 2023, having fallen off a cliff after compiling a 21-3 in his first 24 matches. Fritz is in far superior kind and must be motivated by Nitto ATP Finals rivalry, so depend on the American getting the job achieved.

Pick: Fritz in 2

(4) Alex de Minaur vs. (Q) Jack Draper

De Minaur and Draper will probably be squaring off for the second time of their careers on Tuesday. Their solely earlier encounter got here final summer season at Wimbledon, the place De Minaur prevailed 5-7, 7-6(0), 6-2, 6-3. Although the 24-year-old Australian is a substantial favourite based mostly on rating (thirteenth to 88th), it will doubtless be one other entertaining and aggressive contest.

Physical issues have been the one pink flag for Draper within the early phases of his profession. When wholesome, the 21-year-old Brit is with out query a top-30 type of participant and a future top-10 prospect. Recent kind is encouraging, as he reached the fourth spherical of the U.S. Open, superior to a Challenger ultimate earlier this month, and certified for the Tokyo essential draw with two commanding victories. Meanwhile, De Minaur is coming off back-to-back second-round losses on the Asian swing in Beijing (to Daniil Medvedev) and Shanghai (to Fabian Marozsan). With two matches already below his belt in Tokyo, this can be a nice alternative for Draper to tug off a minor upset.

Pick: Draper in 3


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