10/1/12 3:48 AM | Ricky Dimon
Novak Djokovic will be back on the tennis court this week for the first time since losing to Andy Murray in the U.S. Open final. Djokovic headlines a top section of the Beijing draw along with Marin Cilic and Bangkok champion Richard Gasquet.
This week's China Open will feature the return of Novak Djokovic, who will soon play his first match since the U.S. Open. The top-seeded Serb would be a heavy favorite to take the title regardless of his draw, but he became an even bigger favorite when the bracket was revealed on Saturday.
Djokovic should be able to sleepwalk into the quarterfinals (if not the semis), with an opener against qualifier Michael Berrer followed by a probable matchup with either Marinko Matosevic or Carlos Berlocq. The world No. 1's closest seed is Alexandr Dolgopolov, who has not been playing well and faces a difficult first-round opponent in the form of Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
The top half of the draw also benefited (most likely) from having fourth-seeded Marin Cilic in the fray as opposed to No. 3 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Cilic and Gasquet are on a collision course for the quarterfinals in a relatively soft second section. Gasquet is coming off a title in Bangkok, where he survived a pair of thrillers before destroying Gilles Simon on Sunday.
The 14th-ranked Frenchman will kick off his Beijing campaign against qualifier Matthew Ebden, with the winner to face one of two wild cards--either Di Wu or Ze Zhang. Cilic is likely on his way to a tough second-rounder against Fabio Fognini or Florian Mayer.
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