The world number 22 Grigor Dimitrov will the Japanese challenge of the 50th-ranked Yoshihito Nishioka in the second round of the 2020 ATP Italian Open on Wednesday, September 16. The match will begin at 5 pm local time (4 pm BST) local time. Get the live streaming options of this Grigor Dimitrov v Yoshihito Nishioka match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Grigor Dimitrov v Yoshihito Nishioka Head to Head
There has been one previous meeting between Dimitrov and Nishioka before this with the Bulgarian having won that first round match at the 2019 Brisbane International in straight sets.
Dimitrov Comes Through against Mager
After getting stretched in the first set by Gianluca Mager, Dimitrov did not have too many issues in making it past his Italian opponent, clinching the match 7-5, 6-1 to seal his second round berth. And in many ways the 15th seed will be secretly glad it’s Nishioka he plays next as opposed to Miomir Kecmanovic.
Because Kecmanovic, who was upset by Nishioka, is more of a clay-court specialist than Dimitrov, with the world number number 22 having struggled on this surface over the last few years.
In 2019, Dimitrov was 7-6 on clay, 7-5 in 2018 and 4-5 in each of 2016 and 2017. That isn’t a record of a someone who relishes his prospects a lot on red dirt.
Which is also why Dimitrov can afford to feel chuffed at the way he didn’t cede control to Mager in his opener. A straight-set win was needed to bolster his confidence after his back to back second round defeats at the Cincinnati Open and US Open and Dimitrov will now hope he can avoid making it a hat-trick of those.
Nishioka Stuns Tired Kecmanovic
Going into the match, Nishioka was a distant 17/9 to win his opening round match against Serbia’s Kecmanovic who was coming off his maiden ATP title win in Kitzbuhel – which was also played on clay. While due credit to Nishioka to not let that intimidate him, there was no doubting the exhaustion for his opponent.
After all, Kecmanovic had played in the US Open, and then travelled back to Austria to feature in that tournament, and just two days later played in the opening round match here in Rome. Nishioka took full toll of this gruelling schedule for his opponent.
It won’t be the same against Dimitrov. Sure, Dimitrov doesn’t have the best record on this surface but then Nishioka himself has struggled on clay. Over the past two seasons, he is 9-10 on win-loss on red dirt and after having lost in the first round at Kitzbuhel, he had a few question-marks hanging over him.
Can he quell those completely with a solid performance against Dimitrov?
Dimitrov v Nishioka Prediction and Tip
Dimitrov is a mere 1/2 to win this while Nishioka starts at 6/4. While we expect Nishioka to fight hard, Dimitrov should be a shoo-in for a win in this one.
Tip: Dimitrov to win: 1/2 (bet365)