Kei Nishikori vs. Benoit Paire
|Date & Time||Sunday June 2, 2019, 10:00 AM (EDT)|
Roland Garros Stadium
The Line: Paire +143 / Nishikori -157 -- Over/Under:
Kei Nishikori and Benoit Paire meet in the fourth round of the 2019 tennis French Open.
Kei Nishikori is coming off a five sets win over Laslo Djere that took 56 games to decide. In the victory, Nishikori won 70 percent of his first serve points and 50 percent of his second serve points. Nishikori won 63 percent of his total service points and converted on nine of his 21 break points. Nishikori got 66 percent of his first serves in play, but he wasn’t consistent throughout the match and had 48 unforced errors to 48 winners. Nishikori has to dig deep in what was a four and a half hour match, and he started the fifth set down 0-3. It shows the grit of Nishikori, but you have to question how much he has left in the tank, especially with him battling injury issues already this year. Nishikori hopes to make his fourth straight grand slam quarterfinal appearance. Nishikori also hopes to make the quarterfinal of the French Open for the third time in his career. Nishikori has won five of his last six matches on clay court.
Benoit Paire is coming off a straight sets win over Pablo Carreno-Busta that took 31 games to decide, as the Spaniard was forced to retire after a third set tiebreak. In the victory, Paire won 78 percent of his first serve points and 58 percent of his second serve points. Paire won 69 percent of his total service points and converted on three of his three break points. Paire got 54 percent of his first serves in play, while hitting 17 aces and 60 winners to 37 unforced errors. Remember, that match ended early, so those numbers are even more impressive from Paire in a match that should have gone longer. If Paire can get that many free points moving forward, he has a shot at a breakthrough moment on the grand slam level. Paire has a chance to make his first ever grand slam quarterfinal. Paire is 0-2 in previous grand slam fourth round matches. Paire has won eight straight matches on clay court.
These two have played eight times and Nishikori has won six of those matches, including the most recent match this year in Dubai. Nishikori is 3-0 against Paire on clay and his last loss to him was 2015 Tokyo. Four of the eight matches were decided in straight sets.
Nishikori is the better player and his success against Paire doesn’t lie. Nishikori also usually doesn’t bow out easily in grand slams and is one of the more conditioned players on tour, so that five setter won’t impact him the way it does others. He should be favored to win this match. With that said, Nishikori has been shaky with his serve this whole tournament and has been broken 10 times in his last two matches. Paire could take advantage of that, and he’s also the fresher player with the home crowd behind him. This feels like a decent shot for Paire to make his first ever grand slam quarterfinal.
I’ll ride with the Frenchman and the plus money.