Monfils vs. Nishikori
|Date & Time||Friday August 12, 2016, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
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Kei Nishikori and Gael Monfils meet in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.
Kei Nishikori is coming off a straight sets win over Andrej Martin that took 16 games to decide. Nishikori has yet to lose a set this tournament and has won 16 of his last 19 sets overall. Nishikori has really benefited from the time off since Wimbledon, as his shotmaking has been more consistent and he continues to put pressure on his opponent with his aggressive offense. When Nishikori is hitting his spots, there’s not too many people who can beat him. This is now Nishikori’s second olympic quarterfinal appearance, and he hopes to eventually join Ichiya Kumagae as the only other Japanese player to win a singles olympic medal. Nishikori has won 12 of his last 14 matches on hard court.
Gael Monfils is coming off a three set win over Marin Čilić that took 32 games to decide. Monfils continues to be a new player this season, as he’s super focused and seems to buckle down whenever he finds himself in trouble. The old Monfils would have packed it in after dropping a set to a quality player. This new Monfils remains confident and takes his defense to an unworldly level. In his current form, Monfils is a top-10 player and downright scary for the rest of the competition. Monfils is now in his second olympic quarterfinal and is a couple wins away from being the third Frenchman to win an olympic medal. Monfils has won 15 of his last 17 matches on hard court.
These two have met twice in the past and Nishikori has won both meetings in three sets. The most recent match was in this year's Miami Masters.
Two players who have made us a lot of money in the past and two of the most athletic players in the world. This should be fun. In the end, however, Monfils is playing way too well to fade. I’ve been ranting and raving about Monfils all season and have backed him constantly. Not stopping now.
Monfils and his athleticism will counter Nishikori and his shotmaking. He advances to the semis.