British number one Dan Evans plays former top five ranked Kei Nishikori of Japan in the the first round of the 2020 French Open. The match begins at 1 pm local time (12 noon BST or 6.30 am Eastern Time) on Sunday, September 27. Get the live streaming options of this Kei Nishikori v Dan Evans match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Kei Nishikori v Dan Evans Head to Head
This will be the fourth meeting between the two players. Nishikori brings a 2-1 head-to head into this match. All their matches have been on hard courts, with their most recent meeting at the Indian Wells Masters in 2017, which the Japanese won in straight sets.
Once a Clay Court Competitor to Nadal, Nishikori Struggled Upon 2020 Return
Kei Nishikori has been on the tour for the last decade and has had a consistent career, interspersed with unfortunate and ill-timed injury lay-offs. Once ranked as high as number four in the world in 2015, the Japanese has been to the quarter-finals of Grand slams ten times, but only once been a finalist, at the 2014 US Open.
Returning from an injury lay-off that saw him drop in the rankings, the Japanese had a good second half of 2018 and 2019, which saw him qualify for the year-end ATP finals in 2018 and make the quarter-finals of the Australian and French Opens, as well as Wimbledon, in 2019.
Back in the top ten of the world rankings, Nishikori looked on course for another ATP year- end entry at the O2 arena in London, in 2019. However an elbow injury that bothered him at the US Open, lingered and ended his 2019 season prematurely.
Due to continued injury concerns, Nishikori pulled of the ATP Cup and Australian Open at the start of 2020, and seemed to continue to opt out of tournaments going into the Indian Wells Masters 1000 in March, before the pandemic hit.
Having recovered from injuries and gearing up to return to the tour after the hiatus, the former world number four was hit by Covid-19 and out for the US hard court tournaments. Nishikori returned to the tour on the clay after the US Open, but has encountered early losses at Kitzbuhel, Rome, and Hamburg.
Generally comfortable on the slower surfaces, Nishikori is a three-time French Open quarter-finalist who has rubbed shoulder to shoulder with Rafa Nadal on clay in the past, and will be looking to regain lost form at Roland Garros.
British Number One Looking For Clay Success
2019 was a strong year for Britain’s number one seed Dan Evans. Evans registered wins across the ATP and Challenger tours, and won two Challengers at Nottingham and Sorbiton on grass, in the UK. 2020 started off well for Evans with a good showing at the ATP Cup, a quarter-final showing at Adelaide and a semi-final in Dubai.
Breaking into the top 30 of the world rankings right before the pandemic, Evans promised a lot upon his return to the tour with a win against Andrey Rublev at the Western & Southern Open. However, second round losses followed at both Western & Southern and at the US Open, and the return to clay was disappointing as well.
On his least favorite surface, i,.e. clay, Evans saw an opening round loss to Hubert Hurkacz in Rome, followed by a loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Hamburg opener. Evans’ record on clay is not particularly encouraging as he has never been past the first round of the French Open and he will be hoping to hit some sort of form on clay in Paris.
Nishikori v Evans Prediction and Tip
A somewhat evenly matched battle ahead of us between the world number 34 and 35. Although on paper given the surface, Nishikori would usually start as a clear favorite; he has not looked anything close to his best upon his return to the tour. Expect a tight encounter, but Nishikori’s relatively more experience on the clay should seem him through to the second round.
Tip: Nishikori in four sets: 3/1 (bet365)