Nishikori vs. Dimitrov
|Date & Time||Wednesday May 16, 2018, 11:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Grigor Dimitrov and Kei Nishikori meet in the second round of the 2018 tennis Rome Masters.
Grigor Dimitrov enters this tournament with a 16-9 record this season and is 5-3 on clay. Dimitrov has lost his last to matches and is coming off a performance in which he had five double faults and won just 26 percent of his return points. Dimitrov is capable of playing much cleaner tennis and can be much better with his second serve as well. However, Dimitrov has had a losing record the last couple of years on clay, so it’s quite clear this isn’t his best surface. Dimitrov needs to find some of his consistency in this tournament in order to turn his season around, as he’s just 6-7 in his last 13 matches overall. Dimitrov has split his last six matches on clay court.
Kei Nishikori is coming off a straight sets win over Feliciano Lopez that took 23 games to decide. In the victory, Nishikori won 78 percent of his first serve points and 59 percent of his second serve points. Nishikori is coming off a match in which he won 70 percent of his total service points and won a tight first set tiebreak to set the tone of the match. Nishikori has turned his season around on clay and is going to win a ton of matches if he continues to serve at this level. Nishikori came into this tournament with injury issues, and while he looked good in the opening match, wrist and arm injuries come and go, so it’s worth keeping an eye on moving forward. Nishikori has won six of his last nine matches on clay court.
These two have played four times and Nishikori has won three of those meetings. The most recent match was in Brisbane of last year, a match Dimitrov won in three sets. This will be the first meeting on clay.
It’s tough to back Nishikori given his injury issues and the fact they can flair up at any moment. However, he’s in much better form than Dimitrov, who has been in full struggle mode the last few tournaments and actually has a losing record in his last 13 matches. The safer and better value bet may be backing Nishikori here.
I’m siding with Nishikori, as more of a fade from the struggling Dimitrov.