Kevin Anderson and Kei Nishikori will meet in the robin-round of ATP World Tour Finals 2018. This is set to be the second match in the Lleyton Hewitt group with both the players eyeing a spot in the semis.
The Kevin Anderson v Kei Nishikori 2018 ATP Finals robin-round match will be played on Tuesday, November 13, at 2:00 pm local time (1:00 pm GMT). Watch the Kevin Anderson v Kei Nishikori live streaming here.
Anderson v Nishikori Head to Head
The rivalry between the two players is fairly interesting, to say the least. The two players have met each other a total of eight times on the tour and the Japanese No. 1 leads his South African adversary with a narrow margin of 5-3.
While Nishikori has dominated four of their first five meetings on the tour, Anderson has been quick to retaliate and make things even. In 2018 alone, the two players have crossed paths thrice already. With all the three encounters coming on the indoor hard surface, Anderson has won on two of those instances.
They first met in the semifinal of ATP New York 2018 where Anderson defeated Nishikori in three sets. The World No. 6 added to that lead later this season in the final of ATP Vienna. The Japanese succumbed to Anderson once again, this time in straight sets.
However, in their most recent encounter in the fourth round of Paris Masters, Nishikori managed to break Anderson’s streak with a 6-4, 6-4 win.
Both the Players got off to a Great Start in London
Anderson and Nishikori won their respective opening matches of this year’s ATP Finals without much difficulty.
The South African was up against the World No. 8 Dominic Thiem, whom he defeated 6-3, 7-6(10) in a little over an hour and 49 minutes. In the first set, Anderson broke Thiem’s service at 2-1 to take a dominating lead early in the match. At 5-2, he had an opportunity to win the first set. However, the Austrian displayed a great deal of resilience and saved two set points to stay in the match. Despite his terrific attempt, Thiem failed to break Anderson in the next game and ended up losing the set.
Things were far more even in the second set. The two players successfully protected their serve until the tiebreaker. Things were definitely intense in the tiebreak with Thiem saving no less than three match points to stay in the game. At the same time, the Austrian had two set point opportunities to make things even but he failed to capitalize on those. At 11-10, Anderson served for the match and won the point.
As for Nishikori, he went up against the World No. 3 Roger Federer. Despite all odds stacked against him, Nishikori managed to deliver a stunning upset by defeating the Swiss 7-6(4), 6-3 in a little under an hour and 30 minutes.
Federer didn’t appear to be himself as the reigning ATP Basel champion kept making error after error. Nishikori didn’t waste any opportunity in taking advantage of his opponent’s frustrating evening. This was particularly the case in the second set, when Federer broke Nishikori’s service in the very first game, only to squander that break in the next game.
At 3-2, the Japanese broke Federer’s service again to take an insurmountable 4-2 lead and eventually, take the match.
A Similar Run to London
It is quite interesting to note that Nishikori and Anderson have had a rather similar season. The South African’s win-loss record as of Paris Masters stood at 46-17 while Nishikori’s was at 43-19.
Anderson has won a total of two titles this year – ATP New York and ATP Vienna. However, the biggest highlight of his season was his feat at the Wimbledon, where he lost in the final to Novak Djokovic.
As for Nishikori, he had a pretty remarkable season as well. He started the year outside of top 20 and managed to fight his way into the top 10 on the back of hard work and perseverance. After gaining some traction early in a couple of Challenger events, he moved on to play on the ATP circuit.
While he didn’t win a singles title, he did reach the penultimate rounds in several events to ensure that he got himself a substantial chunk of ranking points. This year, he was the runner-up in Monte-Carlo Masters, ATP Tokyo, and the Vienna Open.
While both the players have had a similar performance this year, the edge in this fixture is with Anderson. He has a massive service game and at 6’8’’, he poses a certain threat to his Japanese adversary. Nonetheless, he will have to keep in mind their most recent encounter where Nishikori got the best of him. This is going to be a great fixture to follow.
The Anderson v Nishikori match will begin at 2:00 pm local time (1:00 pm GMT) on Tuesday, November 13.