Kei Nishikori and Richard Gasquet meet in the round of 16 of the 2016 Rome Masters.
Kei Nishikori is coming off a three set victory over Viktor Troicki that took 29 games to decide. Nishikori has put together a nice hot streak with wins in 12 of his last 15 matches and six of his last nine wins were decided in straight sets. Nishikori hasn’t played flawless tennis as of late, but he seems to buckle down when needed and has bounced back from dropping the first set many times recently. Nishikori continues to pile up the winners but the unforced errors need to be trimmed down if he’s going to make matches a little easier on him and keep his body fresh for the French Open. Nishikori has reached the quarterfinal of the Rome Masters once, which was last season.
Richard Gasquet is coming off a straight sets win over Andreas Seppi and hasn’t dropped a set this tournament. Gasquet looks to build some momentum after winning seven of their last 10 matches and dropping just 10 games in this tournament. Gasquet is playing some of his more consistent tennis as of late and is coming off his first title in almost a year at the Open Sud de France. Gasquet has a chance to crack the top-10 in the rankings if he can stay on this track. Gasquet looks for his first quarterfinal appearance in the Rome Masters since 2012, and his third quarters appearance in the tournament of his career.
These two have played seven times in the past, and Gasquet has won six of those meetings. The most recent match was in this year’s Madrid Masters, a match Nishikori won in straight sets. This will be the second time Gasquet and Nishikori play on clay court.
The head to head would indicate that Gasquet should win this match, but Nishikori mopped the floor with him in their most recent match. It’s no secret Nishikori is a different player than he was a few years ago.
So, while Gasquet has the mental advantage and is playing well, I expect Nishikori to get the victory here.