The number four seed Kei Nishikori of Japan will play Spanish qualifier Roberto Carballes Baena in the quarter final of the ATP Barcelona Open on Friday, April 26. The match will begin at 2 pm local time (1 pm BST). You can find the Kei Nishikori v Roberto Carballes Baena live streaming options here.
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Kei Nishikori v Roberto Carballes Baena Head to Head
This will be the first time Nishikori will play Carballes Baena.
Nishikori Getting Back to Form
Nishikori, back at the venue where he won the title in 2014 and 2015, and finished runner-up a year later, is showing an encouraging return to form in Barcelona.
Yet he started the week in confident manner, beating Taylor Fritz of the USA in straight sets, and then enjoyed an even more emphatic victory over Canadian teenager Felix Auger Aliassime. On paper that was expected to be a difficult match, but the way that he rose to the challenge suggests he has found his form again.
With a qualifier up against him, Nishikori will know this is a good chance for him to push on in this competition.
Carballes Baena, A Barely Known Spanish Qualifier
Not even a household name in Spain, the current world number 114 is another clay court specialist from a country that produces so many.
He does have one senior ATP title on his CV – the 2018 Ecuador Open and six ITF singles titles to his name, all of them coming in clay court events.
Despite this he was not even amongst the favourites to get out of the qualifying competition here, but fought his way to the main draw which has been kind to him so far. He beat compatriot Nicola Kuhn in three sets, and, on Thursday, overcame the challenge of Christian Garin after clinching a second set tie breaker.
Nishikori v Carballes Baena Predictions & Tips
Nishikori will start the match odds-on favourite at 19/100, whilst Carballes Baena is a long priced outsider. This is a tournament that the Japanese has enjoyed playing in down the years and, now left as the highest ranked player in his half of the draw, another final would seem to be beckoning for him. Carballes Baena is highly unlikely to derail that progress.
Tip: Nishikori to win in straight sets: 3/5 (888Sport)