Current world no.35 Kei Nishikori will face a difficult draw as he faces Chile’s Cristian Garin in the first round of the Hamburg Open 2020. The match will be played on Monday, September 21. The timings of this match will be scheduled soon. Get the live streaming options of this Kei Nishikori v Cristian Garin match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Kei Nishikori v Cristian Garin Head to Head
This will be the first time these two players will be facing off in a match.
Returning Nishikori Searching for Form and Fitness
Kei Nishikori is still firmly Japan’s No.1 male player in the ATP rankings, but his current position of world no.35 leaves a lot to be desired. It is worth pointing out that the 30-year-old will be playing in his third tour-level tournament since making his comeback from elbow surgery.
Nishikori had the aforementioned surgery shortly after a premature end to his 2019 season when he lost in the third round of the US Open to Alex De Minaur. He subsequently delayed his return, missing out the Australian Open for the second successive year as he elected to recover fully from injury.
Then, COVID-19 kicked in, and the former US Open finalist tested positive of the coronavirus, and ended up withdrawing from the 2020 US Open.
The Japanese star has since made a successful return albeit not at 100% in terms of fitness levels. He was beaten by Miomir Kecmanovic in his first outing in Kitzbuhel. In Rome, he was able to register his first match win of the season, taking out clay-court campaigner Albert Ramos Vinolas, before falling to Italian teenage sensation Lorenzo Musetti.
Having been ranked as high as world no.4, Nishikori is likely to get a seeding at the French Open next week regardless of his results in Hamburg, but he will surely want to go to Paris in fine spirits.
Garin Enjoying Career Breakthrough in 2020
For Cristian Garin, 2020 birthed his emergence as a clay-court stalwart. The talented Chilean was at home when playing on the dirt in the last couple of seasons, but it was this year when he made quite the splash during the South American clay-court swing.
Garin began the year poorly during the Australian summer, losing in all three matches at the ATP Cup as Chile failed to navigate their way out of the group. But not all of that failure was largely down to him especially in a group containing Serbia, France and South Africa. He then lost to Lloyd Harris in the first round in Adelaide, and made a second round exit in Melbourne at the hands of Milos Raonic.
The 24-year-old was not to be denied in February as he won back-to-back titles in Cordoba and Rio – the latter being his biggest title of his fledgling career. He came up short in his quest for a three-peat as he retired in his quarterfinal match in Santiago, citing leg pain when he trailed Seyboth Wild.
Garin hasn’t quite hit the ground running after the tour’s restart. He is yet to reach the third round of a Grand Slam (a record which was maintained after he fell in round two in New York), and he was beaten in straight sets by Borna Coric in the first round in Rome.
Nishikori v Garin Prediction and Tip
This is a tough match for both players who are not firing on all cylinders. Fitness is a real concern as neither Garin nor Nishikori played any matches during lockdown. Expect this to be see-saw affair likely to go either way.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 6/4 (bet365)