35th-ranked and Japan’s Kei Nishikori will face Italy’s qualifier Lorenzo Musetti in the second round of the 2020 Italian Open. The match is scheduled for Thursday, September 17 and the exact match timing is yet to be determined. Get the live streaming options of this Kei Nishikori v Lorenzo Musetti match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Kei Nishikori v Lorenzo Musetti Head to Head
Nishikori and the 249th-ranked Musetti have never faced off in a competitive match before this.
Nishikori Wins First Match in Over a Year
Injuries, the break for pandemic and then testing positive for Covid-19 meant Nishikori, a former world number four hadn’t played for over a year going into the Kitzbuhel Open last week. In the first round at that tournament, he was bundled out by the eventual winner Miomir Kecmanovic.
Which is why coming into this tournament in Rome, there were question-marks over Nishikori’s match fitness. And playing an opponent like Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who has enjoyed his time on clay in the past, those question-marks would have increased in double-quick time had the Japanese player not dished out the straight-set defeat he did in the end.
Nishikori came away a 6-4, 7-6 winner in a hard-fought match but one that went his way in the end due to his grittiness to stay in the contest. At various times in the match, Nishikori looked like he was still some way away from full fitness but a win like this should boost his confidence.
An exciting opponent who sent out Stan Wawrinka in the first round stands in the way of Nishikori and a third round berth.
Musetti Stunner for Stan
What a match Musetti had against the 2015 French Open winner Stan Wawrinka! The 18-year-old was relentless in his hitting and some of his groundstrokes were a patch on a young Rafael Nadal all those years ago.
It might be a case of the thrill of watching someone that young unleash exciting tennis the way Musetti did but it sure made one want him to go the distance. What obviously needs to be seen is whether he can sustain that kind of momentum with the kind of consistency that was on offer in his first round match.
Because before this, Musetti had only played in one main draw match at an ATP tournament and lost to Andrey Rublev – that came at the ATP Dubai competition. He had also won a couple of Futures events on clay last year having just clinched the juniors singles title at the 2019 Australian Open.
Nishikori’s match-fitness could be a concern for him but if Musetti continues to play the way he did in his opener, that might not remain the only concern for the Japanese player.
Nishikori v Musetti Prediction and Tip
What’s interesting to note is Musetti has been tipped to be the favourite in this match at 4/6 to Nishikori’s 11/10. Don’t expect Nishikori to go down without a fight though, which could make for an exciting contest.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 6/4 (bet365)