R2 previews and predictions: Tomic vs. Harrison, Ramos-Vinolas vs. Lu

Bernard Tomic will kick off his Shenzhen campaign when he takes the court against Ryan Harrison on Thursday. Second-round action is also wrapping up in Chengdu, where Albert Ramos-Vinolas is set to face Yen-Hsun Lu.

Shenzhen Open: (4) Bernard Tomic vs. (Q) Ryan Harrison

Tomic and Harrison will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers at the ATP level when they battle for a place in the Shenzhen quarterfinals on Thursday. The two colorful but sometimes controversial characters most recently faced each other four years ago at the Cincinnati Masters, where Tomic advanced through a first-round matchup 6-4, 7-6(5). They also squared off in qualifying for the Binghamton Challenger event back in 2009, when Harrison got the job done 7-6(2), 7-5.

In resurgent form this season, and especially of late, Harrison resurfaced inside the top 100 earlier this month for the first time since January of 2014. The 24-year-old American currently registers at No. 115, but he will be extremely close to the top 100 again if he wins this one against Tomic. Harrison has successfully qualified for ATP main draws in three of his last four attempts, including at the U.S. Open (reached the third round) and in Shenzhen. He followed up his two qualifying wins by defeating Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-5, 6-4 on Tuesday. Tomic, who earned an opening bye as the No. 4 seed, is a mediocre 29-21 for his 2016 campaign. The 22nd-ranked Australian fell to Damir Dzumhur in round one of the U.S. Open but helped his country return to the Davis Cup World Group with a straight-set victory over Slovakia’s Jozef Kovalik. Based on both current form and motivation level, Harrison should have a good chance at the upset.

Pick: Harrison in 3

Chengdu Open: Yen-Hsun Lu vs. (5) Albert Ramos-Vinolas

Ramos-Vinolas and Lu will be squaring off for the third time in their careers and for the second time at the ATP level when they meet again on Thursday in Chengdu. Both of their previous encounters have gone the way of Ramos-Vinolas, who prevailed 6-2, 6-4 on the clay courts of the Prostejov Challenger in 2011 and 6-2, 6-4 last season in Auckland.
A back injury kept Lu out of action for the first four months of 2016, but his comeback has been nothing short of spectacular. The world No. 63 from Chinese Taipei has won two Challenger titles, finished runner-up at two others, and he coming off a semifinal performance at the Kaohsiung Challenger. He also advanced to the Winston-Salem quarterfinals this summer. Lu won his opener in Chengdu 6-3, 6-4 over Radek Stepanek on Tuesday, while Ramos-Vinolas scraped past Michael Berrer 6-4, 5-7, 6-3. The 31st-ranked Spaniard has cooled off since a quarterfinal run at Roland Garros that was followed by a title on the clay courts of Bastad. He is just 2-6 in his last six matches and on this surface against Lu, the slump may continue.

Pick: Lu in 3

8 Comments on R2 previews and predictions: Tomic vs. Harrison, Ramos-Vinolas vs. Lu

  1. Watched some highlights of Harrison vs Tomic. Tomic really dominated the rallies but Harrison was serving great. Ryan’s problem was his forehand wasn’t driving through the court enough when he had control of the point. He needs to develop more drive in his forehand it’s almost too spinny so that when he has a shot he should pulverize he just sort of spins it deep into the corner which can still be effective but isn’t as good. His hardest forehands a lot of the time come on the run when he has pace coming at him and whips it. His serve is great though. Backhand pretty solid as well. He also got way too passive at the end in the tight moments like at 5-5 he had break point and played really defensive point then still had a pass and hit a lob instead and it was basically a chip right to Tomic that Bernie easily put away. I think he needs to step in more on those forehands or change something in his technique or strategy or something to crack that forehand of his more. I think when he’s on he does but when he’s nervous or something he kind of throttles back and gets the ball way too short. Still he’s on the upswing with his form right now. He should be top 100 by end of the season. He’s set to be around 105 after this week.

    • And I’ve gotta say Tomic looked fantastic out there. Ryan didn’t play bad at all. It was just he got a bit tight but it happens. I think Ryan would’ve taken down a lot of other guys he could’ve played that round.

      • Harrison making decent progress is good to hear.

        I have trouble liking Tomic.

        Sorry that Nick lost, however. Dang him.

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