The second week of the Asian swing started last night, and it started with a bang. If most of the logical favourites won in Tokyo, the same cannot be said for Beijing, which was the scene one of the biggest upsets of the season, when wild card Marius Copil, 221st in the world rankings, defeated last year’s finalist, World n° 13 Marin Cilic, 3-6 7-6(0) 6-4.
Copil is a 21-year-old giant (6’4″) from Romania, who plays mainly on the Challenger Tour and who had, until today, a year-to-date 2-2 record on the ATP Tour (1-1 in tournaments, 1-1 in Davis Cup). His last main draw entrance was in Bucharest, back in April, when he defeated Tobias Kamke in the first round before falling to Lukasz Kubot. On the Challenger Tour, this season, Copil has a 13-12 record, his best result being a final in Kazan, at the beginning of February, where he lost to Jürgen Zopp.
The statistical part above explains the magnitude of the upset, an upset, on paper, just as difficult to understand when looking only at the statistics of the match, in which the Croatian has had a great match at the service line, firing 21 aces and serving 61% of first serves. Cilic saved seven of the 11 break points he faced, whereas Copil saved two of the six he conceded.
All in all, it was only played to a few points, and Copil took his chances, especially in the second set tiebreak, which we can safely say Cilic did not play well at all, losing it 0-7.
“It’s the biggest win of my career”, said Copil after the match, admitting also that the emotions he felt in playing on a big court did not help his focus at the beginning of the match.
As for Cilic, obviously disappointed, he is looking ahead to the next weeks. This upset will nevertheless make him drop in next week’s rankings.
In the second round, Marius Copil will face Florian Mayer, who had the better of Fabio Fognini, 6-1 6-2.
Other day’s results (Beijing)
In the other results of the day:
- Carlos Berlocq did a great comeback to have the better of Marinko Matosevic, 3-6 6-2 6-3, and reaching the second round, where he will, unless there is an immense surprise, face World n° 2 Novak Djokovic.
-  Alexandr Dolgopolov d. Guillermo García-López 6-0 6-4, a good performance by the Ukrainian after what happened last week in Malaysia.
- Kevin Anderson d. [Q] Brian Baker, 5-7 6-3 6-1
- Sam Querrey d.  Fernando Verdasco, 5-7 6-3 6-4. A good comeback for Querrey, and another proof, if one was needed, that he really is back on track.
- Ze Zhang d. Di Wu, 6-4 6-1, in the battle of the local wild cards.
Day’s results (Tokyo)
-  Tomas Berdych d. Benoit Paire, 6-1 7-6(6)
-  Stanislas Wawrinka d. Hiroki Moriya, 7-5 4-6 6-4
- Lukas Lacko d. Albert Ramos, 6-0 6-2
- Viktor Troicki d. Robin Haase, 6-2 6-3. The Dutchman now has a 1-8 record since winning the tournament in Kitzbühel.
Monfils pulls out of Tokyo
The news came out early this morning, when L’Équipe reported that Gaël Monfils has withdrawn from the Rakuten Open due to the return of the pain in his right knee, the same injury that had kept him away from the courts for four months, until his great return two weeks ago, in Metz, where he reached the semi-finals.
La Monf was scheduled to play Andy Murray in the first round. However, it will not be easier for the World n° 3, as the lucky loser who will take Monfils’s spot in the draw is apparently none other than the Croatian Cannon, Ivo Karlovic.