Yoshihito Nishioka vs. Pierre-Hugues Herbert
|Date & Time||Sunday September 30, 2018, 1:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Yoshihito Nishioka meet in the final of the 2018 tennis Shenzhen Open.
Pierre-Hugues Herbert is coming off a three sets win over Alex De Minaur that took 33 games to decide. In the victory, Herbert won 72 percent of his first serve points and 49 percent of his second serve points. Herbert won 63 percent of his total service points and saved three of his six break points. Herbert managed to dig deep by winning a tight third set tiebreak, and he’s not managed to win back-to-back three set matches and three of his four victories this tournament have come as an underdog. As long as Herbert can fight off break points and get timely aces, he has a chance at the biggest victory of his career at 27 years old. Herbert has a chance to win his first ever ATP singles title of his career. This is Herbert’s second career final appearance and first since the 2015 Winston-Salem Open. Herbert has won five of his last six matches on hard court.
Yoshihito Nishioka is coming off a three sets win over Fernando Verdasco that took 29 games to decide. In the victory, Nishioka won 67 percent of his first serve points and 56 percent of his second serve points. Nishioka won 65 percent of his total serve points and converted on three of his 11 break points. Nishioka got 80 percent of his first serves in play, and that’s been key for the 23-year-old in this tournament, as he’s been consistent with his first serve, despite giving his opponent many looks at a break. It hasn’t always been pretty with Nishioka, but he’s been consistent and has played overall very clean tennis up to this point. Nishioka has a chance to win his first ever ATP singles title of his career and is in his first ever final appearance. Nishioka has won six straight matches on hard court.
These two have played once, which was in challenger play in 2013, a match Herbert won in straight sets. The match was played in Japan and took 17 games to be decided.
It’s always tough to pick a match between two guys making their first final appearance, as nerves often play a roll at some point. Herbert is probably going to be the favorite in this match, but Nishioka has easily the biggest and most impressive win this tournament and has been extremely consistent with getting his first serve in play. You also can’t ignore the mental toughness of Nishioka, losing the first set rather easily and then finding a way to get the job done regardless against a top-30 player. That type of victory can carry over for Nishioka and lead to his first title.
It’s a toss-up, but I give the edge to Nishioka.