Number 7 seed Kei Nishikori will face in-form Frenchman Benoit Paire in the fourth round of the French Open on Sunday, June 2. The match will start not before 3:30 pm local time (14:30 BST). You can find the Kei Nishikori v Benoit Paire live streaming options, preview and predictions here.
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Kei Nishikori v Benoit Paire Head to Head
Nishikori and Paire have some history. The pair have met eight times on tour with Japanese leading 6-2 on head-to-head.
Paire’s last win was over four years ago in Tokyo and since then it has been Nishikori who has dominated the series by winning their last four matches. T
he Japan No.1 also won a classic five-setter in their encounter at last year’s French Open in the Round of 64.
Nishikori Still King Of Five-Setters
Kei Nishikori is clutch when it comes to deciding sets. He has the best winning ratio of any man in the Open Era (130-45) in the deciders, and 22-6 in five-setters (4-1 at Roland Garros). To put simply, you can push him all the way, but finishing him off is an entirely different prospect altogether.
The Japanese player needed to preserve that status once more when he battled from a double-break down in the fifth set of his third round epic against Laslo Djere to win 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3, 4-6, 8-6 to advance to the fourth round of the French Open for the fifth consecutive year.
Paire Reached Fourth Round At Roland Garros At 10th Attempt
Benoit Paire was long touted as France’s next generation superstar six years ago after a promising start to his career. However, the shackles came off and Paire failed to live up to the billing.
Following his recent win over Pablo Carreno Busta in the third round (albeit via a retirement), Paire explained in his presser how a long sit-down with himself a few weeks back changed everything.
He got his clay-court season underway at the Marbella Challenger in Spain where he finished runner-up before main-eventing the finals in Marrakesh and Lyon respectively. Paire won both finals to claim his second and third career singles titles. On the evidence of his strong results coming to Paris, Paire is playing the best tennis of his career.
At the age of 30 and nearing the twilight of his tennis career, it is never too late for the one-time wunderkind to echo those sentiments of the French faithful many years ago. A first-time Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance could go along way in doing so.
Nishikori v Paire Predictions & Tips
Nishikori has a very good record against Paire and won the pair’s meeting at last year’s French Open. However, Paire is a different player altogether right now. With his blend of power and creativity he will prove to be a thorn in Nishikori’s game. The Japanese has a slight edge here, but expect the Frenchman to light up the Chatrier.
Tip: Over 38.5 games: 7/8 (888Sport)