Andy Murray vs. Kei Nishikori
|Date & Time||Sunday November 9, 2014, 9:00 AM (EST)|
The Line: Andy Murray -210
BBC, Tennis Channel
Kei Nishikori and Andy Murray play Sunday in the first matchup of the 2014 Barclays World Tour Finals.
This has been the most successful season for Kei Nishikori, which was capped off with an improbable finals appearance in the US Open. Nishikori always had the talent to do big things in the tennis world, but injuries and inconsistent play prevented him from taking that next step. Now, Nishikori enters this match with wins in eight of his last 10 events, and that includes beating Milos Raonic in the Tokyo Finals. Kei Nishikori is in great form, making very little errors and hitting winners left and right. Nishikori clearly has the tennis world as his feet with this breakout season and he’s the first Asian player to compete in the ATP World Tour Finals. As long as Nishikori can control his nerves against the best competition in the world, he’ll have a chance to end this season with a few more surprises.
This will be Andy Murray’s seventh consecutive ATP World Tour Finals appearance, and he heads into this match with much needed momentum. Murray has won 11 of his last 12 matches, which includes winning the finals in Valencia and Vienna. Murray now has a chance to become the first tennis player ever to win four different titles in the city of London. Andy Murray has worked hard to get back in playing shape after recovering from back surgery, and he says he’s starting to feel his best right now. However, there are times where fatigue begins to set in and you wonder if Murray is feeling some issues with his injury history. Regardless, as long as Murray can stay healthy and rested, he’ll have a shot to make a deep run in this tournament.
These players have played three times in the past and Andy Murray has won all three. Their most recent meeting was in Brisbane in 2013, a match that Nishikori retired in the second set. The other two meetings were in the 2012 Australian Open and 2011 Shanghai Masters. Kei Nishikori has yet to even win a set against Andy Murray, but of course he’s a much different player than he was the last few times these two have played.
With the value we’re getting with Kei Nishikori, I have no choice but to back him in this spot. I still have questions about Andy Murray’s health and heart. Murray at times shows to play with his emotions and can fold quicker than a beach chair when things aren’t going his way. Meanwhile, Nishikori has been all heart all season and this moment means the world to him and his country. Give me Nishikori for the upset.