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Kei Nishikori vs. Novak Djokovic 2018 Rome Masters Tennis Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction

Djokovic vs. Nishikori
Date & Time Friday May 18, 2018, 11:00 PM (EDT)
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Kei Nishikori and Novak Djokovic meet in the quarterfinals of the 2018 tennis Rome Masters.

Kei Nishikori is coming off a straight sets win over Philipp Kohlschreiber that took 15 games to decide. In the victory, Nishikori won 71 percent of his first serve points and 79 percent of his second serve points. Nishikori is coming off one of his best serving performances in which he won 74 percent of his total service points and 53 percent of his return points. Nishikori has put together some solid performances up to this point, but he’s still hard to trust given his injury history and the fact he’s been kind of hit or miss in recent matches. Still, Nishikori has returned very well this tournament and is always a handful to deal with due to his defense and ability to play extra balls on this slow surface. Nishikori has won each of his last four quarterfinal appearances. Nishikori has a chance to make his second semifinal trip in a Masters 1000 since the start of the 2017 season. Nishikori has split his last six matches on clay court.

Novak Djokovic is coming off a straight sets win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas that took 19 games to decide. In the victory, Djokovic won 73 percent of his first serve points and 56 percent of his second serve points. Djokovic won 47 percent of his return points and broke four times, as he's starting to show signs of breaking out of this funk. Djokovic has been serving very well this tournament and you can see the confidence start to build for the former top ranked player in the world. Djokovic now has a chance to win four matches in a single tournament for the first time since last years Wimbledon. Djokovic has split his last eight quarterfinal appearances. Djokovic hopes to make the semifinals of a Masters 1000 for the first time since last years Rome Masters. Djokovic has won five of his last eight matches on clay court.

These two have played 14 times and Djokovic has won 12 of those meetings. The most recent match was in this years Madrid Masters, a match Djokovic won in straight sets. Djokovic hasn’t lost to Nishikori since the 2014 US Open, and he’s 5-0 against him on played clay court matches.

Nishikori is slowly showing signs he’s returning to form and has put together some decent runs as of late. Djokovic is playing his best tennis since the Australian Open and hasn’t had any marathon matches that would aggravate any lingering injury issues. Not sure how you bet against Djokovic here given his history against Nishikori, which includes 11 straight victories and 5-0 on clay.

Djokovic reaches the semifinals.

Novak Djokovic

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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