• Baker and Verdasco take the court on opening day in Beijing

    10/1/12 3:11 AM | Cheryl Murray
    Baker and Verdasco take the court on opening day in Beijing American Brian Baker and No. 8 seed Fernando Verdacso will be in action at the China Open as the first round gets underway.

    Fernando Verdasco (8) vs. Sam Querrey

    This is one of the better first-round matchups in Beijing this week. American Sam Querrey is ranked just three spots lower than Verdasco at No. 26, but they meet early because Querrey failed to secure a seed for the tournament.

    The two men have split wins at one each, with Verdasco winning the first and Querrey the most recent meeting, last year at Indian Wells. Querrey has actually had the better hard-court season than the Spaniard, with a run to the semifinals in Winston-Salem.

    Verdasco made the quarterfinals last week in Bangkok where he lost to Janko Tipsarevic. Querrey hasn't played in Asia yet this season, but he is likely better rested than his opponent.

    Prediction - Querrey for the upset.

    Brian Baker vs. Kevin Anderson

    American Brian Baker had a dream run on clay and grass this spring, but his summer hard-court season was dismal. He will take on South African big hitter Kevin Anderson in his first match in Beijing.

    Anderson didn't have a good summer swing either, and he has the added pressure of a feud with South African tennis officials over lack of funding for Davis Cup play. Still, the surface should favor the South African, and it won't hurt the Anderson cause that Baker hasn't been in good form.

    Prediction - Anderson for the win.

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