French Open 2019 – Kei Nishikori vs Rafael Nadal Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

Where is Kei Nishikori vs Rafael Nadal taking place? Roland-Garros, Paris

When is Kei Nishikori vs Rafael Nadal on and what time does it start? Tuesday 4th June, 2019 – (not before) 14:15 (UK)

What channel is Kei Nishikori vs Rafael Nadal on in the UK? ITV4 & Eurosport are sharing broadcasting rights for the French Open so it is worth checking their schedules

Where can I stream Kei Nishikori vs Rafael Nadal? Televised matches can be streamed via the ITV Hub & Eurosport Player

Where can I get tickets for Kei Nishikori vs Rafael Nadal?
https://tickets.rolandgarros.com/en/home

HEAD-TO-HEAD
All-time meetings:
Kei Nishikori 2-10 Rafael Nadal
Last meeting: Rafael Nadal beat Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-2

THE PLAYERS

KEI NISHIKORI

  • Nishikori once again showed his prowess in deciding sets by beating Benoit Paire 7-5 in the fifth set of their fourth-round battle on Sunday to reach the quarter-final stage in Paris for the third time in his career.
  • The Japanese star has been taken to a fifth set in his last two matches and he has now won his last eight five-setters, while he is the most successful player of all-time when it comes to deciding sets on the ATP tour.
  • Nishikori has beaten Rafa twice in 12 meetings and has taken just the one set off him across their four meetings on clay so he naturally goes into this quarter-final as the heavy underdog.

RAFAEL NADAL

  • Nadal was rarely troubled by Juan Ignacio Londero in the fourth round and his biggest test so far at Roland-Garros remains his four-set win over David Goffin in the third round.
  • Nishikori will represent a sterner opponent that Londero but Nadal has typically dominated this particular match-up and will be fully expecting to dictate from the off against his Japanese opponent, as he did when they met an the 2013 French Open (Nadal winning 6-4, 6-1, 6-3).
  • The Spaniard will naturally be focused on this match but he will be all too aware of how impressive world number one Novak Djokovic has been on the other side of the draw so he will want to send out another message of intent here.

THE PREDICTION

Given his remarkable record in deciding sets, Nishikori's best chance of success here appears to be taking Nadal to a fifth set but that is far easier said than done against the greatest clay-court player of all time. Nishikori is an excellent all-round player but he simply does not possess the weapons to go toe-to-toe with Nadal on this surface, and although he will not go down easily, it would be a huge surprise to see him topple the Spaniard who should march on to the semi-finals in straight sets.