Nishikori vs. Wawrinka
|Date & Time||Monday November 14, 2016, 9:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Wawrinka -105 / Nishikori -115 --- Over/Under
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Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori meet in the first match of the 2016 ATP World Tour Finals.
Stan Wawrinka enters this match in shaky form, as he’s lost four of his last seven matches and has lost his last two matches overall. The good news for Wawrinka is that he’s made the semifinals in all three of his appearances in the ATP World Tour Finals. However, Wawrinka continues to show that you don’t know which player is going to show up, as his serve can be very inconsistent and the unforced errors can really takeover a match. Wawrinka is coming off a match against Jan-Lennard Struff in which he won just 27 percent of his return points and 55 percent of his second serve points. Wawrinka also has two victories this season over ranked players. Wawrinka has split his last six matches on indoor hard court.
Kei Nishikori has lost two of his last three matches and is coming off an early exit in the Paris Masters. However, Nishikori has been consistent for the most part with wins in 10 of his last 14 matches and four victories this season over top-10 players. Nishikori has to do a better job of getting off to quicker starts and putting pressure on his opponent earlier rather than playing from behind. And when Nishikori is serving well, he’s extremely tough to beat when you add in his athleticism and defensive abilities. Nishikori is in his third straight ATP Finals appearance and hopes to redeem himself from an early exit last year. Nishikori has won nine of his last 11 matches on indoor hard court.
These two have played six times in the past and Wawrinka has won four of those meetings. The most recent match was in this years US Open, a match Wawrinka won in four sets. The last four meetings between these two have been split down the middle and Nishikori beat Wawrinka in this year's Cincinnati Masters.
I have no idea which Wawrinka we’re going to see in this tournament and that scares me. The unforced errors and inconsistent play make Wawrinka tough to back. Nishikori always gives it his all and is far more consistent and in better form heading into this tournament. I give Nishikori the edge here given the unpredictability of Wawrinka.