Mikhail Kukushkin vs. Kevin Anderson
|Date & Time||Wednesday October 10, 2018, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Kevin Anderson and Mikhail Kukushkin meet in the second round of the 2018 tennis Shanghai Masters.
Kevin Anderson enters this tournament after losing in the quarterfinals of Tokyo and has won six of his last nine matches overall. Anderson struggled in his last match, which he lost as a -150 favorite, but he produced 22 aces in the straight sets defeat. When Anderson is hitting his spots and getting so many free points with his serve, he’s capable of beating anybody on tour. The problem is Anderson has had issues with his return recently, and it puts way too much pressure on his serve to be perfect. Anderson hasn’t lost his opening match of a tournament since Hurlingham back in June. Anderson has won four of his last six matches on hard court.
Mikhail Kukushkin is coming off a three sets win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas that took 18 games to decide. In the victory, Kukushkin won 82 percent of his first serve points and 75 percent of his second serve points. Kukushkin won 80 percent of his total service points and didn’t face a single break point in one and a half hour victory. While Kukushkin entered this tournament in questionable form, he’s going to be a tough out if he comes anywhere close to repeating such a serving performance. Kukushkin has a chance to win two matches in a single tournament for the first time since the US Open. Kukushkin has won four of his last six matches on hard court.
These two have played four times and Anderson has won three of those matches. The most recent match was in Madrid of this year, a match Anderson won in three sets. only win over Anderson came in Shanghai of 2014, the first ever meeting.
Anderson owns the clear head to head advantage over Kukushkin and is in better form. While Kukushkin did serve out of his mind in his last match, he’s had trouble putting such performances together back-to-back. Anderson is also a quality server in his own right, so if this is a high match that sees a tiebreak, I like Anderson’s chances to prevail.
The South African gets the job done here.