ATP Top Three
1. Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic’s performance in the Beijing final was truly breathtaking. The Serbian dismantled Tomas Berdych 6-0 6-2 in a match that nearly saw Djokovic double bageling his Czech opponent. Djokovic has now won in Beijing five times and has never lost a match in the Chinese capital (24-0). Djokovic has been very successful in Asia and it appears as if he has no intentions of bucking this trend in 2014.
2. Kei Nishikori
If it wasn’t for Novak Djokovic’s unbelievable effort in the Beijing final, Kei Nishikori would have topped this list. To the delight of the Japanese crowd, Nishikori continued his terrific streak of form to win the ATP 500 event in Tokyo. Nishikori’s resolve was put to the test in both the semifinals and finals—he needed three sets to get through Benjamin Becker and Milos Raonic. It’ll be interesting to see how Nishikori transitions to Shanghai considering the mental and physical grind he went through this week.
3. Martin Klizan
Martin Klizan scored the biggest victory of his career this week in Beijing, defeating World No. 2 Rafael Nadal in three sets. Klizan rallied from a set down to take down Nadal and showed the tennis world just how lethal his lefty forehand is.
ATP Bottom Three
3. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has been very substandard since beating Roger Federer in the finals of the Toronto Masters in August. Tsonga’s run of disappointing form continued in Tokyo where he lost to Michal Przysiezny in a third set tiebreaker. Tsonga led 6-4 in the breaker before eventually losing 11-9.
2. Stan Wawrinka
The Australian Open champion and top seed was stunned in the opening round of the Rakuten Japan Open by hometown favorite Tatsuma Ito. Wawrinka will start off with either Gilles Simon or Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in Shanghai.
1. David Ferrer
For the second straight week, Spaniard David Ferrer was taken out in his opening round match. Ferrer lost to countryman Marcel Granollers in straight sets. If the tennis season ended today, Ferrer would not qualify for the World Tour Finals in London so it should go without saying that he’ll need to make up for lost ground starting in Shanghai.
WTA Top Three
1. Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova took the final Premier Mandatory event of the year in Beijing, defeating Petra Kvitova in a tightly contested three set final. Sharapova dropped only one set in the entire tournament, and has built a nice stream of momentum with the WTA Finals in Singapore set to take place in two weeks.
2. Petra Kvitova
With Beijing being the only WTA event taking place this past week, Petra Kvitova naturally comes out as number two on this list. Kvitova, who won in Wuhan last week, is elevating her play at just the right time. She will be a force to be reckoned with and definitely will enter the WTA Finals as a legitimate contender.
3. Sam Stosur
Sam Stosur really turned things around for herself this week in Beijing. Snapping a three match losing streak, Stosur defeated Francesca Schiavone, Caroline Wozniacki and Alize Cornet—all in straight sets. Stosur was on the precipice of the final before losing to Petra Kvitova in three sets in the semis.
WTA Bottom Three
The most disappointing women of the week had one thing in common: injuries. Top ranked Serena Williams, Simona Halep, and Venus Williams each withdrew from Beijing with pains in their knee and hip, respectively. It doesn’t seem fair to take away points from players in pain, so there won’t be a Bottom Three this week.