Nishikori vs. Sock
|Date & Time||Friday March 17, 2017, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Sock +195 / Nishikori -235 -- Over/Under:
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Jack Sock and Kei Nishikori meet Friday in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Indian Wells Masters.
Jack Sock is coming off a three set win over Malek Jaziri that took 35 games to decide. In the victory, Sock won 78 percent of his first serve points and 66 percent of his second serve points. Sock has needed three sets in all three matches to get to this point but has done a nice job of fighting back and correcting his game. Sock is really starting to come into his own at 24 years old and it’s safe to say he’s the current main face of American tennis on the mens side. It’s now just a matter of consistency with Sock and limiting unforced errors that keep his opponent in matches from time to time. Sock has five career victories over top-10 players with four of them coming last year. Sock has won nine of his last 10 matches on hard court.
Kei Nishikori is coming off a straight sets win over Donald Young that took 18 games to decide. In the victory, Nishikori won 61 percent of his first serve points and 81 percent of his second serve points. Nishikori has dropped just 17 games in his first three matches and has now won 12 of his last 17 sets played overall. A fresh and rested Nishikori makes him an extremely dangerous player given his court coverage and athleticism. Nishikori has also won his last 10 quarterfinals with his last loss coming in last years Indian Wells Masters. Nishikori hopes to make the semifinals of the Indian Wells Masters for the first time in his career. Nishikori has won nine of his last 11 matches on hard court.
These two have split the only two meetings, as Sock won in the 2014 Shanghai Masters and Nishikori won in the 2013 Washington Open. Both matches were decided in straight sets. This will obviously be the third meeting on hard court.
The head to head doesn’t tell us anything given these guys haven’t played in three years and both are different players now that they’re older. I like the value of the plus money and Sock in this match, as he has the power and shotmaking to counter and match Nishikori and keep him on his toes. Over the last few months, we’ve seen Sock get comfortable and simply overwhelm his opponents. Even with a nice rest avantage for Nishikori, he can drop his game at times, and it doesn’t help Sock will be a huge crowd favorite.
I’ll side with Sock for the upset.