Medvedev vs. Nishikori
|Date & Time||Saturday January 5, 2019, 11:30 PM (EST)|
Queensland Tennis Centre
The Line: Nishikori -145 / Medvedev +125 -- Over/Under: 22.5
Daniil Medvedev and Kei Nishikori meet in the final of the 2019 tennis Brisbane International.
Daniil Medvedev is coming off a straight sets win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga that took 21 games to decide. In the victory, Medvedev won 85 percent of his first serve points and 74 percent of his second serve points. Medvedev won 81 percent of his total service points and converted on three of his 13 break points. Medvedev has now won 17 of his last 21 matches overall and is going to be a tough out if he continues to produced double-digit aces. Eleven of Medvedev’s last 15 wins have been decided in straight sets. Medvedev has a chance to win his fourth career title and is 3-1 in career final appearances. Medvedev has won all three of his final appearances on hard court. Medvedev has won four of his last five matches on hard court.
Kei Nishikori is coming off a straight sets win over Jeremy Chardy that took 16 games to decide. In the victory, Nishikori won 79 percent of his first serve points and 64 percent of his second serve points. Nishikori won 74 percent of his total service points and converted on four of his five break points. Nishikori has won all six sets this tournament and actually has won each of his last 10 sets since the ATP Finals when you include two exhibition matches in Hawaii. Nishikori has a chance to win his 12th career title and first since the 2016 Memphis Open. Nishikori has lost each of his last nine final appearances and is 9-9 in career final appearances on hard court. The good news is Nishikori is 5-3 in ATP World Tour 250 Series final appearances, his best record in any type of tournaments. Nishikori has won five of his last six matches on hard court.
These two have split the previous two meetings, as Medvedev won the 2018 meeting in Tokyo and Nishikori won the 2018 meeting in Montreal. Both matches were decided in straight sets.
You can make a strong case for either one of these players and it’s probably a lot easier to trust Medvedev based on the way he’s played the last couple of months and how’s he’s rose to the occasion in big matches. However, I refuse to believe a quality player such as Nishikori will continue to struggle in final appearances. Nishikori is too good of a player to continue to come up small when it counts. The fast paced court really favors Nishikori’s defense and his improved serve could be the difference here.
I’m going to side with Nishikori and the cheap price, as he’s due to snap this title drought.