World number 39 Miomir Kecmanovic will take on the 50th-ranked Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan in the first round of the Italian Open on Tuesday, September 15 with the match to be scheduled soon. Get the live streaming options of this Miomir Kecmanovic v Yoshihito Nishioka match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Miomir Kecmanovic v Yoshihito Nishioka Head to Head
In their only previous meeting Kecmanovic had defeated Nishioka in the round of 16 at the 2019 Indian Wells Masters before he lost to Milos Raonic in the quarterfinal.
Kecmanovic Fresh from Maiden Title Win
Having gone into the Kitzbuhel Open as an unseeded player, Kecmanovic thundered through the competition to register a title win for the first time in his ATP career.
En route, there were occasions when Kecmanovic fell behind or had his struggles, like in the first round against Kei Nishikori, when in the quarterfinal against Federico Delbonis, he lost the second set and needed 12 games in the third to edge him out. That, however, was the beauty of his victory – Kecmanovic having come through some gritty matches to make it all the way.
Interestingly, he had given himself a chance having played at the Eastern European Championship during the pandemic break where he won five of the six matches he featured in. In the pre-pandemic phase of the season, Kecmanovic had kick-started the season with a semifinal berth to his name at the Qatar Open, and followed it up with another semifinal in New York.
He starts off much like he had at the Kitzbuhel Open – against a Japanese player.
Nishioka on a Four-Match Losing Streak
Just before the season was suspended due to pandemic, Nishioka looked to be in the form of his life. He had hit a ranking of 48th in the world, his career-best and that had been possible thanks to his performances on the hard courts of the Delray Beach.
Nishioka reached the final of that tournament, before going down to Reilly Opelka but the points he earned out of it were enough to help get into the top 50.
Since that defeat in the final, however, Nishioka hasn’t won another match. He went out in straight sets to Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the first round of the Dubai Open, did not play a single match during the pandemic break and then blew up a two set lead over Andy Murray in his opener at the US Open.
Featuring for the first time on clay this season at Kitzbuhel, the Japanese player was crushed 6-3, 6-0 by Guido Pella in the first round. Things could get a lot tougher during this clay swing for a player who has never had the greatest record on this surface.
Kecmanovic v Nishioka Prediction & Tip
Kecmanovic, if not exhausted with his Kitzbuhel exploits and travel back to Rome for this tournament, should be an easy pick for this win. Probably a straight set win given Nishioka’s record on this surface.
Tip: Kecmanovic to win in straight sets: 10/11 (bet365)