The Asian leg of the tennis season continues with the 2017 China Open, which has attracted a strong field as players warm up for the upcoming Shanghai Masters.
New world number one Rafael Nadal leads the field, but he will face strong competition from the likes of Alexander Zverev and Juan Martin del Potro if he is to take home the trophy.
Elite players including Nick Kyrgios, Grigor Dimitrov and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are also expected to be in attendance at a popular event that is one of the best tournaments in this part of the world.
Top Rated Tennis Betting Sites
While Nadal will start as the favourite in the betting for the China Open, he has not won this competition since back in 2005, although he did take the doubles crown with fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta – who is also playing this year – 12 months ago.
Defending champion Andy Murray – who beat Dimitrov in the final last year – is absent as a result of injury and the six-time winner Novak Djokovic is another of the big names to miss out.
But even without Murray, Djokovic and the Wimbledon champion Roger Federer, the China Open has attracted a strong field, with players seeking to book a place at the end of season World Tour Finals, which are due to take place in November in London.
It promises to be a great tournament in Beijing, but who are the contenders for the crown? We will cover the top players and other potential picks below, but first let’s take a look at the latest China Open odds.
2017 China Open Betting Odds
Online tennis betting sites have have now published outrights to win the tournament as well as individual match betting markets running from now through the end of the tournament.
As always, the first table displays the current betting odds from the best international bookmakers while the second table shows what the best USA betting sites are offering.
Odds at International Betting Sites
Odds at US-Friendly Betting Sites
World No. 1 Nadal Tops the Seeds
Competing in his first event since being crowned champion of the US Open, Nadal has been installed as the top seed for the China Open, as well as the pre-tournament favourite. It is hard to argue with that status, given the Spaniard has continued to prove the naysayers wrong in a glorious 12 months that has seen him claim grand slam titles in Paris and New York.
Critics of Nadal say he has become even more of a clay-court specialist in the later years of his career, but winning at Flushing Meadows – where he beat Kevin Anderson, a big-serving South African who is on paper more suited to the hard courts in the final – proved them wrong.
Nadal is a threat on any surface, although having claimed the number one ranking, which he had made his goal for the year, it is unclear how he will motivate himself for the rest of the season. Without his old rival Federer there to challenge against, Nadal may find himself short of competition and when this is the case he can sometimes be vulnerable to an early exit.
Depending on the draw Nadal receives, 6/4 for him to win the China Open could be far too short to recommend him, but only a fool would write him off from claiming the title. He lost in the final to Djokovic in both 2013 and 2015, so will be desperate to get his hands on the trophy again.
Zverev in the Mix Again
Hot on the heels of Nadal in the odds is young Alex Zverev, who is offered at around the 11/2 mark to pick what would be his sixth title of an extraordinary year.
Although Zverev has yet to show off his full potential on the biggest stage of world tennis, struggling to make an impact in 2017’s grand slams although he was hotly-tipped at the US Open, he has thrived in lesser events such as the China Open throughout the year.
Zverev, ranked four in the world, looked in fine form at the Shenzhen Open and he has the advantage of having acclimatised to China, while many of the field are jetting into the country to take part in this event. He reached the quarter-finals of the Beijing tournament last year before losing to the fifth seed, David Ferrer.
The 20-year-old should not have to face Nadal until the final and that would be a fantastic match for the tennis world to see, with the Spaniard having won all their head-to-head meetings so far.
That record makes it a bit harder to recommend Zverev to win the event, but if Nadal was to be beaten early in the tournament he would be hard to stop. On an each way basis, 11/2 makes a lot of sense for Zverev and he would only need to reach the final for this to pay out.
Del Potro and Dimitrov Further Contenders
With Djokovic having won all but two of the China Opens held since the tournament was upgraded to ATP World Tour 500 series, few players have a record that catches the eye.
Last year’s beaten finalist Dimitrov is one who has the potential to go all the way, although all the old questions about the Bulgarian’s ability to hold his game together under pressure remain.
A price of 11/1 for Dimitrov to go all the way seems like fair value and he is certainly one of a handful of potential winners of the tournament, although backing him each way may prove to be a better bet than to win the whole event. He beat Nadal in the quarter-finals here a year ago, so should not be phased if he comes up against the world number one again here.
Del Potro has not been seen on the tour since losing in the semi-finals of the US Open to Nadal and the pair could resume their rivalry at the China Open this week.
The Argentine remains a phenomenally popular player, both among his fellow professionals and with tennis fans from all over the world, and plenty of people will be willing him to victory.
But with only two titles won since 2013, it is still tough to recommend a bet on Del Potro, even if 10/1 is a big enough price to be tempting on an each way basis.
Carreno Busta’s Experience Could Be Key
A quarter-finalist at the China Open last year in the singles, Carreno Busta picked up the doubles crown after teaming up with Nadal and he will fancy his chance of more silverware.
The Spaniard, currently ranked 10th in the world, is a late bloomer, having won all three of his career titles in the last couple of years, and he looks well placed to challenge in Beijing.
Like Del Potro, Carreno Busta was beaten in the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows and he will want to end the season on a high, with a place in the World Tour Finals up for grabs. At 25/1, he deserves to be considered on anyone’s shortlist for the China Open.
China Open Best Bets
Although Nadal is rightly the favourite, he is perhaps a touch too short to recommend here and instead Zverev is the selection, with the youngster no doubt keen to finish the season strongly.
It has been a breakthrough year for the German and he can pick up a sixth title of 2017, even if he has to beat Nadal along the way, which would be his first ever victory against the Spaniard.
Aside from the big two, who will be expected to face off in the final in Beijing, there are a couple of other names who could well be in the frame for the China Open title.
Carreno Busta always seems to fly under the radar and having triumphed the doubles here a year ago – when he had Nadal on his side of the net – he knows what it takes to win at this event. The US Open semi-finalist is certainly worth taking on each way at odds of 25/1.
Dimitrov is the other recommendation, although again only each way, and with a preferred small stakes policy at 11/1. The Bulgarian reached the final a year ago and could do so again with a favourable draw, while he should have nobody to fear after beating Nadal here in 2016.