Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Kei Nishikori
|Date & Time||Thursday October 4, 2018, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Kei Nishikori and Stefanos Tsitsipas meet in the quarterfinals of the 2018 tennis Japan Open.
Kei Nishikori is coming off a straight sets win over Benoit Paire that took 21 games to decide. In the victory, Nishikori won 69 percent of his first serve points and 57 percent of his second serve points. Nishikori won 63 percent of his total service points and produced five breaks on 11 break points. Nishikori has won all four sets this tournament and is playing his most consistent tennis since his return from injury, winning nine of his last 11 matches. While Nishikori can improve his service numbers, the defensive effort is there, he’s moving better and is giving himself double-digit break points on a consistent basis. Nishikori hopes to win three matches in a single tournament for the first time since the US Open. Nishikori has won four of his last five matches on indoor hard court.
Stefanos Tsitsipas is coming off a three sets win over Alex De Minaur that took 28 games to decide. In the victory, Tsitsipas won 78 percent of his first serve points and 50 percent of his second serve points. Tsitsipas won 63 percent of his total service points and converted on six of his 20 break points. Tsitsipas has given himself 30 break points in his last two matches, something that gives him a fighting chance to push for a final appearance if it continues. Tsitsipas simply isn’t the same player who entered this tournament losing five of his last six matches, but this match is a steeper step in competition. Tsitsipas has a chance to win three matches in a single tournament for the first time since Toronto, which was two months ago. Tsitsipas has lost five of his last seven matches on indoor hard court.
There’s no previous match history between these two players.
Tsitsipas gives himself a shot if he continues to have the return success he’s had in his previous two matches. The problem is that is highly unlikely with the way Nishikori has played the last few weeks, and he has a rest advantage as well. Nishikori is starting to look like the player of old who moves well, plays high level defense, and his serve has improved as well since his injuries.
Nishikori reaches the semifinals in straight sets.