Japan Open: Cameron Norrie draws Special Ks Thanasi Kokkinakis
British No 1 Cameron Norrie has a tricky draw for the first round of the Japan Open in Tokyo.
Norrie was handed the second seeding for the tournament but the 32-man tournament offers no first round byes so the winner will have to string together five straight wins.
The Brit had to withdraw from the Korea Open with illness and will be eager to go deep to enhance his bid for a place in the ATP Tour finals.
It will be something of a moving week in the finals with two ATP 500 events being staged in the week.
Norrie faces tricky Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis whose big serve makes him a tough opponent on a hard court.
Should he get beyond the Australian he will have to face either recent San Diego Open titlist Brandon Nakashima or home hero and wildcard Shintaro Mochizuki.
At the top of Norrie’s half of the draw we will see Nick Kyrgios make his return to the ATP Tour with a match Chun-Hsin Tseng.
The other British hope in the Japan Open field is Dan Evans who has the eighth seeding and shares a section with World No 2 and top seed Casper Ruud.
Ruud suffered a shock early exit at the Korea Open – where he was also the top seed – and will face Jaume Munar in the first round at the Ariake Colosseum.
Among the potential last eight opponents for Ruud is Australia Alex di Minaur, who joins compatriots Kyrgios, Kokkinakkis, Alexei Popyrin and James Duckworth.
Australia have matches the host nation for main draw entrants prior to the finalisation of the main draw field through qualifying.
Rising American star Frances Tiafoe will take on local wildcard Yasutaka Uchiyama after he was handed the fourth seeding for the tournament.
American No 1 Taylor Fritz starts his Asian swing with a first round clash against Duckworth.
Korea Open finalist Denis Shapovalov kicks off his Tokyo run with a contest against USA’s Steve Johnson.
The three tournament wildcards were handed to Japanese players with at least two more local players set to come through the qualifiers.
The Japan Open Tennis Championships remains the longest-running ATP Tour tournament in Asia, having enjoyed its first staging in 1972.
The ATP 500 tournament will be played at the Ariake Colosseum, an expansive tennis centre comprising 48 courts and a stadium which features one of the first retractable roofs in tennis.
Novak Djokovic will not return to Tokyo to defend the title he won in 2019, the last time the Japan Open was held.
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