Beijing R1 previews and picks: Haas vs. Hewitt, Robredo vs. Fognini

Tommy Haas and Lleyton Hewitt will collide in a blockbuster first-round matchup on Monday in Beijing. Tommy Robredo and Fabio Fognini are also in action.

(7) Tommy Haas vs. (WC) Lleyton Hewitt

The clock will be turned back when Haas and Hewitt do battle in round one of the China Open on Monday. This is their 11th career meeting but first in more than nine years–since the 2004 U.S. Open. Hewitt leads the head-to-head series 6-4 overall and 2-1 on hard courts. The 32-year-old Australian has won four of his last five matches, which include a fourth-round showing in New York and a Davis Cup rout of Lukasz Kubot. Hewitt is 23-15 for the season and on the way back up at No. 57 in the world as of Sunday.

Haas has been in the midst of an even greater resurgence for a longer period of time. The 35-year-old German is 41-18 for his 2013 campaign, highlighted by a title in Munich and a quarterfinal finish at Roland Garros. Haas cooled off just a bit late this summer and lost to Mikhail Youzhny in the U.S. Open third round (Youzhny went on to beat Hewitt 7-5 in the fifth). With Haas not quite as confident as he was a few months ago and Hewitt almost always being a force on relatively fast surfaces, a slight upset could be in the cards.

Pick: Hewitt in 3

Fabio Fognini vs. Tommy Robredo

Fognini and Robredo will be squaring off for the fifth time in their careers and for the second time this season on Monday in Beijing. Robredo leads the head-to-head series 4-1 after dominating their most recent encounter 6-0, 6-3 in a clay-court final at the Umag tournament. Fognini’s lone victory over Robredo came via third-set retirement on the indoor hard courts of Vienna in 2011.

Like Haas and Hewitt, Robredo is a veteran back on the rise right now. The 31-year-old Spaniard is 35-18 for the season and up to No. 18 in the world. He made thrilling runs to the quarterfinals at both the French Open and U.S. Open. Fognini caught fire in July by reaching three consecutive clay-court finals, a pair of which he won for the first two titles of his career. The 19th-ranked Italian, however, is a dreadful 5-10 on hard courts this year. Thanks mostly to the surface, this should be one-way traffic.

Pick: Robredo in 2

29 Comments on Beijing R1 previews and picks: Haas vs. Hewitt, Robredo vs. Fognini

  1. This is a looong but lovely article in Indian news about what Rafa’s foundation does in the India and what inspired Rafa to that project. His foundation built the sports complex for the school and contributes $2 million a year to maintain it. It has a long back story about Ferrer, the Spanish humanitarian who originally settled there to help fund 1800 rural schools, 6 general hospitals and other services in that area. It’s a very touching and inspiring story IMO. Great work, Rafa!

    Rafael Nadal in “Nowhere” Land

    • An inspirational story. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.
      Rafa loves being around kids and a visit from him will live in their memories for the rest of their lives and be appreciated by all the wonderful people devoting their lives to helping the needy in the world.

    • Rafa foundation, showing kids how to use drugs to be the number 1 of the world, and be sidelined acting like you are injuried instead of suspended due to dopping…

  2. There is a certain confusion over the scenario in which Rafa can become #1. Most say reaching the final. Some say reaching the semi. I guess it depends on when his points from Chile will be counted. Lots of media didn’t even know that it’s not on Djoker’s racket. Most of these tennis writers are too lazy to look up the rule or get clarification. SMH.

    • And good Rafa, he said he didn’t know which scenario he would get the #1 ranking either. He would just play well. Great answer! 😀

  3. Can’t wait to read about Rafa’s charity efforts in India…that’s just what the pros should be doing with their money…way to go! As for Beijing match ups, I like Hewitt in 3 and Robredo in straight.

  4. Can’t see how Chile can come into play as it is a 250 tournament and his zero pointers are 500s. Therefore, Rafa will become No. 1 if he reaches the final no matter what Nole does. If Nole fails to defend, Rafa needs to win his first two matches for No. 1. If Nole fails to make the final, Rafa is No. 1 again regardless.

    Pressure is on Nole!

    • Puts into perspective all the hand-wringing by fans about the wisdom of Rafa’s planned Fall schedule. He did think this through…………

  5. RT @pmouratoglou: “#serena plays at at 12.30 tomorrow her Beijing second round match.”

    Does anyone else get the impression Mouratoglou is behaving like Serena’s “general dog’s-body”? I have yet to see any other coach tweet his/her charge’s daily playing schedule during a tourny like this.

  6. RT @SharkoTennis: “In 1st all Top 20 1R match of yr @ATPWorldTour, No 19 #FabioFognini d No 18 @TRobredo 75 46 63 @ChinaOpenTennis”

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