Beijing R2 previews and picks: Djokovic vs. Pospisil, Isner vs. Robredo

Djoker 2Novak Djokovic will continue his Beijing campaign when he goes up against Vasek Pospisil on Wednesday. John Isner and Tommy Robredo are also bidding for a spot in the quarterfinals.

(1) Novak Djokovic vs. Vasek Pospisil

Djokovic and Pospisil will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers when they do battle in round two of the China Open on Wednesday. Their only previous meeting came last year in the Davis Cup semifinals, where Djokovic dominated 6-2, 6-0, 6-4 on the clay courts of Serbia. The world No. 1 is looking to bounce back from a slow hard-court summer during which he lost early in Toronto and Cincinnati and fell to Kei Nishikori in the U.S. Open semifinals. Djokovic improved to 20-0 lifetime in Beijing with a 6-2, 6-1 rout of Guillermo Garcia-Lopez on Tuesday.

Pospisil advanced to the last 16 by taking out Lukas Rosol 6-4, 6-3 on Monday. The 41st-ranked Canadian has endured an up-and-down 2014 campaign in which he got hot this summer with a Wimbledon doubles title and a runner-up performance in Washington, D.C. But Pospisil’s last two tournaments were not encouraging; he succumbed to Simone Bolelli in the U.S. Open first round and was upset by Juan Monaco in last week’s Shenzhen second round. Djokovic has literally been unbeatable at this event, and his thrashing of Garcia-Lopez sent a similar message to the rest of the field.

Pick: Djokovic in 2 losing 8 games or fewer

(8) John Isner vs. Tommy Robredo

Isner and Robredo will be squaring off for the third time in their careers on Wednesday. Both of their previous encounters have gone Isner’s way; 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-4 at the 2010 Auckland event and 7-6(13), 7-6(3), 6-7(5), 7-5 this spring at the French Open–where there were no service breaks until the very last game of the match.

It has been a physically and mentally draining last few days for Robredo, who missed five championship points last Sunday in Shenzhen and lost the final to Andy Murray. The 32-year-old Spaniard made a quick turnaround to overcome Andreas Seppi 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 on Tuesday. That is not a great recipe for Robredo heading into this one, especially with Isner coming off a 6-1, 6-3 beatdown of Santiago Giraldo. The American improved to 36-16 for the season after firing 14 aces and holding all eight of his service games.

Pick: Isner in 3

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