Last year in Montreal Kei Nishikori and Rafael Nadal put on a show and a half as Kei advanced to the semi-finals of Rogers Cup with a 6-2 6-4 victory and their ninth career meeting is set to be another cracker!
It’s been almost eight years since their first ever meeting at Queens Club and since then they have only met at major tournaments meeting at three of the four Grand Slams and four Masters 1000 events but this is their first meeting in the Californian desert.
Both players have but have been lacking it in performances for a while. Nadal’s form over the last year or so as well know has been questionable and has lost plenty of matches you’d expect him to win but also his level during matches has varied and that ruthlessness seems to have disappeared. Take the match v Verdasco the other day he was ruthless for the first set and then the second set his level completely dropped, he got the job done in straight sets but made it difficult for himself. I kind of feel the same for Kei, I’d like to see a convincing performance from him against a top player with a continued level. He has the talent to be ruthless but right now I wouldn’t say at this Masters 1000 events or Grand Slams there is that consistent ruthlessness to win big matches and big tournaments.
I couldn’t not mention Montreal in this preview so I’d thought I’d start this segment with a little clip from the match but if you get a chance find highlights of the match!
Video via YouTube Channel – ATPWorldTour
The match was played at 100 miles an hour but the quality was incredibly high!
I remember writing about their match up and will post below so do please read!
t that day whether it was the forehand or backhand but what impressed me was the service return which he went after big time.
I don’t know what to expect from this. Nadal played well against Verdasco but is he the favourite even though he leads the head to head at 7-1? I’m not too sure.
I’m also not too sure who needs the win more. This would be a massive confidence booster for Nadal especially at such a big tournament but I kind of feel this year Nishikori has to prove his run at the US Open a couple of years wasn’t a one off and a big win against a big player will only help him put his name amongst the contenders for the next Grand Slam.
I’m going to stick my neck out a bit and say Nadal in two sets. He impressed me against Verdasco and dealt with the threat of Zverev really well and should have enough to defeat Kei!