Finals previews and predictions: Goffin vs. Dolgopolov, Baghdatis vs. Istomin

The first titles of the Asian swing will be up for grabs on Sunday. In Shenzhen, it is an all-seeded showdown between David Goffin and Alexandr Dolgopolov. A much different story in Chengdu pits Marcos Baghdatis against Denis Istomin.

Shenzhen Open: (5) Alexandr Dolgopolov vs. (2) David Goffin

Goffin and Dolgopolov will be going head-to-head for the third time in their careers (second at the ATP level) when they battle for the Shenzhen title on Sunday. Both of their previous encounters have gone Dolgopolov’s way, but they have not faced each other since 2013. The Ukrainian prevailed 7-5, 6-3 at the 2010 Marrakech Challenger and 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 three years later at the U.S. Open. Fast forward to 2017 and Goffin is a considerable favorite now. The 12th-ranked Belgian is an awesome 43-18 this season and in contention for a World Tour Finals spot. Seemingly 100 percent after a knee injury plagued his summer, Goffin has advanced this week with victories over Evgeny Donskoy, Donald Young, and Henri Laaksonen.

Dolgopolov punched a ticket to his ninth career ATP final and third of the season by beating Lloyd Harris, Sergiy Stakhovsky, Dudi Sela (via third-set retirement), and Damir Dzumhur. The world No. 53 appears to be finding some fine form down the stretch, as he also advanced to the last 16 at the U.S. Open. Goffin, however, presents a steep step up in competition. Dzumhur is on fire right now, but he was clearly fatigued on Saturday following so many recent matches. Dolgopolov will not be so fortunate against Goffin.

Pick: Goffin in 2

Chengdu Open: Marcos Baghdatis vs. Denis Istomin

It will be a contest between two suddenly resurgent veterans when Baghdatis and Istomin clash in the Chengdu final on Sunday. Istomin’s year started with an Australian Open upset of Novak Djokovic, but he did almost nothing for the next six months. Finally armed with confidence once more, the 78th-ranked Uzbek made recent quarterfinal appearances on the clay courts of Gstaad and last week in Metz. Istomin has gone two steps further in Chengdu by ousting Jan-Lennard Struff, Karen Khachanov, Jared Donaldson, and Yuichi Sugita.

The head-to-head series stands at 2-2 overall and 2-1 in Istomin’s favor at the ATP level, although his most recent victory came by retirement at 2-1 in the first set of their 2015 Nottingham meeting. Their last completed match came at the 2014 Aussie Open, where Istomin cruised 6-4, 7-5, 6-4. Like Istomin, Baghdatis was a disaster this spring–to the extent that he has plunged to 113th in the rankings. The 32-year-old Cypriot, though, has won at least three matches in three of his last five tournaments dating back to Washington, D.C. in early August. He is through to his first final since February of 2016 thanks to defeats of Vasek Pospisil, Peter Gojowyczk, Yen-Hsun Lu, and Guido Pella. It has been a long week for Baghdatis, who has required three sets on three occasions and had to finish his rain-delayed quarterfinal against Lu on Saturday. He may also be feeling the pressure having last captured an ATP title back in 2010.

Pick: Istomin in 3

4 Comments on Finals previews and predictions: Goffin vs. Dolgopolov, Baghdatis vs. Istomin

  1. I really like Istomin, especially after learning of his pretty remarkable story of his career. However, I’ve always really liked Marcos as a person, and I hope he can finally get another title. He’s come pretty close in the last few years, so he would deserve it!

  2. Leaning on Dolgo and Baghdatis in 3. Have strong stats and analysis backing the same.

    But just going with over in both the above matches.

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