Kei Nishikori vs Mackenzie McDonald
August 7, 2021 6:00 pm EDT
Kei Nishikori of Japan will face American Mackenzie McDonald in the Semi-Finals of the 2021 Citi Open. The match is scheduled to be played on Saturday August 7th, 2021 at approximately 6:00pm EST.
The unseeded duo of Kei Nishikori and Mackenzie McDonald will do battle for the right to contest Sunday’s Final here at the Citi Open in Washington. This is a somewhat surprising Semi-Final as higher seeded players were expected to be here but the two men have been outstanding this week and fully deserve to be here. Who will get the win and reach their first ATP Final of the year?
Kei Nishikori is currently ranked 67 in the world and is unseeded here at the Citi Open. The veteran Japanese star was once ranked inside the top 5 but has seen his ranking slide in recent years with some struggles with injuries and loss of form. After struggling at the start of the year, he seems to be close to back to his best, and has looked superb so far here in Washington. He defeated the giant-killer Lloyd Harris in the Quarter-Finals, who was fresh off a huge upset over Rafael Nadal. Nishikori is an elite mover, and is outstanding from the baseline, being one of the premier counter-punchers in tennis. His consistent style from the baseline is sure to be difficult for his opponent Mackenzie McDonald to handle and he enters this match as the favorite.
Mackenzie McDonald is also unseeded here at the Citi Open and is ranked 107 on the ATP Tour. The young American has been very inconsistent throughout his career, mixing in some big wins with disappointing performances. He will be very happy to have reached his first ATP Semi of the year here on home soil, and will be backing himself to reach the Final as he is a very confident player. Even though he is small in stature he packs a big punch, and has an explosive attacking game from the baseline. Unfortunately, that can make him commit a high number of unforced errors, something that will not help his chances against his opponent Kei Nishikori.
This is the first time that the two players are facing each other on the ATP Tour, and it is shaping up to be a very interesting one. Both men play similar styles from the baseline, but their approach is quite different. Nishikori is the obvious favorite due to his experience and McDonald is a bit of a wild card as it is difficult to predict how he will play on a given day. He is capable of some world class tennis but we don’t see that very often, so the smart money is on the Japanese star to get the win. His measured approach is sure to draw a lot of errors out of the American who may not be able to handle the intensity and consistency of his opponent. I expect Kei Nishikori to grind Mackenzie McDonald down eventually, advancing to the Final here at the Citi Open where he will face the winner of Jannik Sinner and Jenson Brooksby