With Roger Federer dropping out to change diapers in peace and Andy Murray away nursing his wrist (and probably his pride due to a so-so year) Juan Martin Del Potro became the top seed at the Rakuten Japan Open this week.
Del Potro lost in the final last year to defending champion Tomas Berdych who, let’s face it, hasn’t exactly changed much since then. Del Potro sure has though having won the U.S. Open and leaping into the top five.
With most of the top players dueling in Beijing, Del Potro could actually have an easy time winning this event. The other top seeds Jo-Wilifred Tsonga and Gilles Simon played in Thailand last week so could show up tired in the first few days, but Lleyton Hewitt and Tommy Haas could make things interesting for the big man.
But watch out for the “worm” Radek Stepanek. He always plays well at the end of the year for some reason.
My next post will take a look at the Beijing Open for the men which sees the return of Andy Roddick who probably needs a tourney win more than anybody right now.