The number four seed Kei Nishikori of Japan will play Canadian teenager Felix Auger Aliassime in the third round of the ATP Barcelona Open on Thursday, April 25. The match is scheduled for 11 am local time (10 am BST), and you can find the Kei Nishikori v Felix Auger Aliassime live streaming options here.
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Kei Nishikori v Felix Auger Aliassime Head to Head
This will be the first time ever that Nishikori will face Auger Aliassime.
Nishikori Looking to Rebuild His Confidence
Having started 2019 in triumphant fashion by winning in Brisbane, Nishikori’s form has dipped in recent months. He reached the semi-final in Rotterdam, but lost early in Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami, and then suffered a shock defeat to Pierre-hugues Herbert in France in the second round in Monte-Carlo.
His issues seemed to have come after his injury issues at the Australian Open which saw him retire from the quarter-final against Novak Djokovic. And while that Rotterdam semi-final came after that, it was followed by early defeats at the aforementioned tournaments.
However, he is playing in a tournament that has fond memories for him, having won it in 2014 and 2015, and finishing runner-up the following year. That will give him some belief that he can go far again this week, as will his second round victory over Taylor Fritz of the United States.
Auger Aliassime, Continuing to Enjoy His Year
Auger Aliassime at just 18 years of age, has already enjoyed a memorable year, becoming the youngest ever ATP finalist in Rio, and then enjoying a remarkable run to the semi-finals in Miami. Starting the year well outside the world’s top 100, he has enjoyed a meteoric rise up the rankings to number 31.
No novice on clay, he was the 2016 Junior French Champion, and has won 5 Challenger tour titles on that surface.
Beaten in the second round in Monte-Carlo by Alexander Zverev, he got his campaign in Barcelona off to a good start by beating Malek Jaziri of Tunisia in straight sets in the first round, although he had to negotiate a second set tie-break to get the job done.
Nishikori v Auger Aliassime Predictions & Tips
Nishikori will start the match odds-on favourite at 11/18, whilst Auger Aliassime is priced at 6/4. The Canadian teenager has proved already this year he is no respecter of reputations, but Nishikori, playing in a tournament he likes, may be about to regain some of his early season form and confidence.
Tip: Three sets in the match: (William Hill)