Kei Nishikori vs. Karen Khachanov - 2021 Madrid Open First Round
Tuesday, May 4th 2021
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Karen Khachanov meets Kei Nishikori in the first round of the 2021 Madrid Open on Tuesday, May 4th 2021.
Will Kei Nishikori come out here and continue to improve as we all want to see him back at his best, or will Karen Khachanov cause the upset to get his clay season going off strongly finally?
Karen Khachanov has dipped significantly in form this year from his strong start, and he will know that he has to raise his level up significantly if he is to remain in the fight for staying in the Top 30. Karen Khachanov is really a hit and miss player most of the time, and it is unfortunate to see as he is able to really play some amazing tennis if he is at his best, being able to beat some of the best in the world like Novak Djokovic as we saw him do in 2018.
Kei Nishikori has played some great tennis in 2021, continuing to put in the hard work and showing that he is one of the best players on the ATP Tour when is in form, and improving to get back at his best. Kei Nishikori will want to put on another solid week of performances here in Madrid as he did in Barcelona a couple weeks ago. Kei is a special talent, and a Grand Slam Finalist, a Bronze medalist, and a big title winner, and I am sure that if he continues to improve, we will have many big tournaments where he will compete right to the end.
This is going to be the 5th meeting between both players, with their matches split evenly at 2-2. They have not met for the last 3 years, and since then I expect their form to be much different. Kei was strong back then, but so was Karen. Since then, Karen has dipped significantly in form, and I am not sure if he is going to be able to deal with a rejuvenated Kei Nishikori who is continuously improving and showing us why he is one of the best players on the tour.