Basilashvili Stuns delPo To Claim Second ATP 500 in Beijing
AT the start of 2018, Nikoloz Basilashvili had never won an ATP title. However, since July, he has picked up two titles, both of which have come at the ATP 500 level. This is after Basilashvili won the China Open in Beijing, beating world number four Juan Martin del Potro 6-4 6-4 in the final.
Basilashvili has struggled for consistency this year, recording more defeats than victories. This is likely a result of his playstyle which can only be described as high-risk high reward. This means that an off day will almost certainly result in defeat, as while Basilashvili can hit stunning winners, he can leak plenty of unforced errors too. However, everything came together on the day, and a victory against del Potro is a victory he certainly won’t forget.
“I was in a really good shape coming up to this tournament,” said Basilashvili. “I’m really feeling well on court. Playing against Juan, he was sick today for sure, I could see that. But he put me in really tough situations. I needed to really work it, to work hard to win the points. I really enjoyed this match. To win a title here in Beijing means a lot, it’s one of the best tournaments.”
Del Potro was undoubtedly not at his best, and was seemingly suffering with some sort of virus, as evidenced by several coughing fits at changes of ends. But there is plenty of reason for the Argentine to be cheerful, as his exploits this week ensured his place at the ATP World Tour finals in November, his first appearance in London since 2013. With this win, Basilashvili moves up to a career high ranking of 23.
Meanwhile, fans in Tokyo were denied a home victory this week, as qualifier Daniil Medvedev surged past Kei Nishikori, a man who is also looking to qualify for the World Tour Finals. Despite Nishikori being in red hot form and looking the clear favourite, the 22-year-old Medvedev triumphed 6-2 6-4 in 63 minutes, making a statement on behalf of the next generation of tennis players.