Chengdu SF previews and predictions: Dimitrov vs. Ramos-Vinolas, Troicki vs. Khachanov

The top two seeds in Chengdu are gone, leaving Grigor Dimitrov as arguably the title favorite heading into semifinal action on Saturday. Dimitrov is going up against Albert Ramos-Vinolas, while Viktor Troicki is facing Karen Khachanov.

(5) Albert Ramos-Vinolas vs. (3) Grigor Dimitrov

Dimitrov and Ramos-Vinolas will be going head-to-head for the third time in their careers at the ATP level and for the fifth time overall when they battle for a spot in the final of the Chengdu Open on Saturday. After splitting a pair of lower-level encounters in 2008 and 2009, Dimitrov prevailed on the main tour in 2012 and 2014. He got the job done 7-6(1), 6-3 on the clay courts of Bastad before scoring a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters two years later. Dimitrov has failed to live up to lofty expectations since then, but a slow start to the 2016 campaign has given way to a recent hot streak. The 21st-ranked Bulgarian advanced to the quarterfinals in Toronto, the semis in Cincinnati, and the last 16 at the U.S. Open. So far in Chengdu he has taken out Dusan Lajovic and Diego Schwartzman.
Dimitrov wins
Ramos-Vinolas scraped past Michael Berrer and Yen-Hsun Luin three sets before ousting No. 1 seed Dominic Thiem 6-1, 6-4 on Friday. The 31st-ranked Spaniard had been just 1-6 in his last seven matches prior to his arrival in Chengdu, but he is still a solid 29-25 for the season and should be up to at least 28th in the world next week. Especially on this surface, however, Dimitrov should once again have the edge in this matchup.

Pick: Dimitrov in 3

Karen Khachanov vs. (6) Viktor Troicki

Troicki will join Ramos-Vinolas in the top 30 on Monday if he prevails in Saturday’s Chengdu semifinals. The 32nd-ranked Serb lost his opener at four consecutive tournaments after Wimbledon, but he is now 9-3 in his last 12 matches–a stretch that includes a semifinal performance in Winston-Salem and a quarterfinal finish last week in St. Petersburg. Troicki earned his place in the last four at this event by beating Casper Ruud, Marcos Baghdatis, and Kevin Anderson.

Up next for the sixth seed is a first-ever meeting with Khachanov, who is through to the first ATP semifinal of his career. The fast-rising 20-year-old previously made a run to the quarters on the red clay of Kitzbuhel a few months ago, and he has now gone one step further thanks to defeats of Joao Sousa, Adrian Mannarino, and Feliciano Lopez. The world No. 101 is expected to return to his career-high of 81st in the rankings even if he loses to Troicki. In what is likely to be a competitive contest, Troicki’s experience should make the difference.

Pick: Troicki in 3

5 Comments on Chengdu SF previews and predictions: Dimitrov vs. Ramos-Vinolas, Troicki vs. Khachanov

  1. Dimitrov in 3
    Should be Troicki because of his experience but that was also true vs Lopez. So, voted Khachanov in 3, as I have all week. This should really be a bridge too far for Khachanov but I hope he makes it. To the final 😀

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