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Alexander Zverev owns a 6-3 record at the China Open.

Zverev Handed Tiafoe Test, Murray To Play Berrettini In Beijing

Thiem shares top quarter with Berrettini and Murray

Alexander Zverev was handed a difficult start to his China Open campaign at the draw ceremony in Beijing on Saturday.

The second seed will meet American wild card Frances Tiafoe, for the sixth time, in the first round of the ATP 500 event. Zverev leads Tiafoe 4-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, but was taken to a fifth set by the 21-year-old at the US Open last month.

Zverev will be hoping to extend his unbeaten 3-0 tally in Beijing first-round matches. The reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion owns a 6-3 record in the Chinese capital, highlighted by his run to the semi-finals in 2017.

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The winner of Zverev and Tiafoe will move forward to face #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime or Zhuhai semi-finalist Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the second round. Another Zhuhai semi-finalist — fifth seed Roberto Bautista Agut — also features in the bottom quarter of the draw. 

Such is the quality of the draw each year in Beijing, top seed Dominic Thiem is searching for his first victory at the event on his third appearance. The BNP Paribas Open titlist, who lost to John Isner in 2015 and Alexander Zverev in 2016, will once again be heavily tested in a stacked quarter of the draw.

Thiem opens his campaign against 2013 semi-finalist Richard Gasquet and could face last year’s semi-finalist Kyle Edmund in the second round. US Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini and former World No. 1 Andy Murray also feature in the top quarter of the draw, where they will meet each other in one of the picks of the first-round matches.

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Karen Khachanov and Fabio Fognini headline the second quarter. Fourth seed Khachanov will begin his title bid against a qualifier, while two-time semi-finalist Fognini faces Mikhail Kukushkin for a spot in the second round. The winner of that match will face Grigor Dimitrov or Andrey Rublev for a position in the quarter-finals.

Third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas leads the way in the third quarter of the draw. The 21-year-old Greek will meet Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters finalist Dusan Lajovic in the first round, with defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili or Guido Pella awaiting the winner of that clash.

Gael Monfils could meet the winner of that section in the quarter-finals, but the seventh-seeded Frenchman will have to overcome World No. 19 John Isner in his first match. Monfils leads Isner 7-4 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, with each of their 11 previous encounters being played on hard courts.

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