Kei Nishikori vs. Mikhail Kukushkin
|Date & Time||Saturday October 27, 2018, 11:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Mikhail Kukushkin and Kei Nishikori meet in the semifinals of the 2018 tennis Vienna Open.
Mikhail Kukushkin is coming off a three sets win over Marton Fucsovics that took 36 games to decide. In the victory, Kukushkin won 71 percent of his first serve points and 62 percent of his second serve points. Kukushkin won 67 percent of his total service points and saved seven of his nine break points. Kukushkin has played eight sets to get to this point and has been highly successful whenever he gets his fist serve in play. Kukushkin has won no less than 69 percent of his first serve points in his last three matches. Kukushkin hasn’t won four matches in a single tournament since winning a challenger title back in Irving back in March. Kukushkin has a chance to make his first final appearance since the Apia International Sydney in 2015, and his fourth final appearance of his career. Kukushkin has won five straight matches on indoor hard court.
Kei Nishikori is coming off a straight sets win over Dominic Thiem that took 16 games to decide. In the victory, Nishikori won 66 percent of his first serve points and 69 percent of his second serve points. Nishikori won 67 percent of his total service points and converted on five of his 10 break points. Nishikori has now won each of his last five sets and is returning at a very high level, which includes producing 12 breaks in his last three matches. With wins in 11 of his last 14 matches, Nishikori is making a strong late push to secure a spot in London for the ATP Finals. Nishikori hopes to make his third final appearance of the year and his 25th final appearance of his career. Nishikori has won seven of his last eight matches on indoor hard court.
These two have played eight times and Nishikori has won all eight meetings. The most recent match was in the Geneva of this year, a match Nishikori won in straight sets. Nishikori is 17-2 in career sets played against Kukushkin.
Nishikori just beat arguably the hottest player in the world in straight sets rather easily, so it’s hard to bet against that momentum. You then take a look at the head to head numbers, and Kukushkin hasn’t even given Nishikori a scare in eight matches and has won just two of 19 sets played against him. It’s very rare when a h2h is so one-sided and struggles to take a set, that the player ends up winning the match.
Nishikori advances to the final in straight sets.