Kei Nishikori vs. Roger Federer
|Date & Time||Friday November 2, 2018, 4:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori meet in the quarterfinals of the 2018 tennis Paris Masters.
Roger Federer is coming off a straight sets win over Fabio Fognini that took 19 games to decide. In the victory, Federer won 81 percent of his first serve points and 59 percent of his second serve points. Federer won 70 percent of his total service points and saved four of his five break points. Federer has played just two sets to get to this point and has lost just one match since losing in the fourth round of the US Open. While the wins keep piling up, Federer can certainly improve his first serve percentage and improve his second serve overall, things that gave him trouble in Basel. Five of Federer’s lest seven victories have been decided in straight sets. Federer has won 19 straight matches on indoor hard court.
Kei Nishikori is coming off a straight sets win over Kevin Anderson that took 20 games to decide. In the victory, Nishikori won 86 percent of his first serve points and 68 percent of his second serve points. Nishikori won 78 percent of his total service points and didn’t face a single break point in a victory that took about an hour and a half. I’ve said many times in previous write ups that it’s Nishikori’s improved serve that’s led to this impressive winning stretch, something we weren’t seeing earlier in the season. Nishikori has won all four sets this tournament and hasn’t faced a single break point. Of course, Nishikori is also motivated to keep winning in hopes of qualifying for London, so there’s that. Nishikori has won 10 of his last 12 matches on indoor hard court.
These two have played eight times and Federer has won six of those meetings. The most recent match was in Shanghai of this year, a match Federer won in straight sets. Nishikori hasn’t beaten Federer since the 2014 Miami Open. Four of the eight matches have gone the distance.
Nishikori is worth strong consideration here given the way he’s played on indoor hard court and how tough he’s been outside of finals. Federer also has been struggling despite his victories, and his second serve has been weak. With all that said, I can’t bring myself to fade Federer. The guy finds ways to win even when he’s not playing his best, and he has a clear h2h advantage over Nishikori.
I have to side with Federer with money on the line.