Kei Nishikori vs. Denis Shapovalov
|Date & Time||Thursday August 2, 2018, 6:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Denis Shapovalov and Kei Nishikori meet in the third round of the 2018 tennis Citi Open.
Denis Shapovalov is coming off a three sets win over Daniil Medvedev that took 26 games to decide. In the victory, Shapovalov won 87 percent of his first serve points and 45 percent of his second serve points. Shapovalov won 71 percent of his total service points and produced 15 aces in his victory. Shapovalov now has a combined 42 aces in his last three matches, and if he’s going to serve like that moving forward on this surface, he’s a threat to compete for a title in Washington. We all know Shapovalov has a lot of raw talent and can make impressive shots when he’s really feeling it, but he’s been very inconsistent his last several tournaments and hasn’t won two matches in a single tournament since Rome. Shapovalov has won five of his last seven matches on hard court.
Kei Nishikori is coming off a three sets win over Donald Young that took 19 games to decide. In the victory, Nishikori won 83 percent of his first serve points and 42 percent of his second serve points. Nishikori won 69 percent of his total service points and 40 percent of his return points. It was an overall really solid performance from Nishikori and a sign that his return skills and defensive play are slowing returning to form. Nishikori should be well rested considering he hasn’t played since the Wimbledon, and he’s no longer showing signs of past injuries that he was dealing with earlier in the year. A healthy Nishikori can compete with anyone in the draw and push for a title. Nishikori has lost five of his last seven matches on hard court.
These two have played once, which was in this years Mexican Open, a match Shapovalov won in three sets. The match took 29 games to be decided.
Shapovalov is more than capable of winning this match and his power is sure to keep Nishikori on his toes. However, a healthy Nishikori has the edge here with his movement and defense. Nishikori looked good in his last match and should have very fresh legs. He’s going to frustrate Shapovalov when he can’t power his way through points, and he’ll eventually wear down the young Canadian.
Nishikori cruises to the quarterfinals.