Kei Nishikori can impress home crowd in Tokyo
Grigor Dimitrov could collect in Beijing
Tournaments start 3am Monday
Home favourite Kei Nishikori has twice triumphed in the Japan Open and the world number 12 looks well drawn to complete the hat-trick in Tokyo and end his two-year title drought.
Nishikori was unable to justify favouritism against lesser opposition at the Moselle Open but his run to the semi-finals in Metz looks the perfect preparation and he should be much more motivated to impress his army of home support.
The third seed is idolised in Japan and will be keen to impress. An opening match with compatriot Yuichi Sugita should ease him into contention and then there’s little to fear in his quarter of the draw.
Greek youngster Stefanos Tsitsipas would be the biggest threat before the semi-finals but he was a first-round casualty in Metz and Shenzhen and isn’t operating at his best.
Kevin Anderson could be lurking in the last four but Nishikori leads the big-serving South African 5-2 in their personal series and spurred on by home support should once again have his measure.
The Japanese star looks a shrewd each-way wager and it would be disappointing if he doesn't reach the final.
1pt each-way 5-1 bet365
The China Open has been dominated by Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic but neither have made the trip to Beijing and Grigor Dimitrov looks best-placed to capitalise in their absence.
The bullish Bulgarian was runner-up in the event in 2016 before bumping into Nadal in the semi-finals 12 months ago and he could be poised to strike housed in the weaker half of the draw.
Ryan Harrison isn't an easy first-round match but the third seed is fancied to come through unscathed with Kyle Edmund shaping as the only danger in his quarter.
Dimitrov hasn't been at his best this term but he tends to peak towards the end of the campaign - he won the ATP Tour Finals in November last year - and his liking for the venue could see him come up trumps.
1pt each-way 6-1 Paddy Power
Follow us on Twitter @racingpostsport