World number five Stefanos Tsitsipas will be up against Japanese and 39th-ranked Kei Nishikori in the third round of the 2021 Miami Open on Monday, March 29. Get the live streaming options of this Stefanos Tsitsipas v Kei Nishikori match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Stefanos Tsitsipas v Kei Nishikori Head to Head
There has been only one previous match played between Tsitsipas and Nishikori before this and it was the Japanese player who came through in straight sets at the quarterfinal of the 2018 Japan Open competition.
Tsitsipas in Line to Emulate Miami Best
He has played in just two editions of the Miami Open and while Tsitsipas was blown off the court in the 2018 competition in the opening round, he went on to make it to the fourth round in 2019. With a win here over Nishikori, he would first like to emulate that showing and then take it from there.
The four-time ATP winner, Tsitsipas is coming off a finals appearance at the Acapulco Open last week, after which he dismissed Damir Dzumhur in the second round here. Tsitsipas won 6-1, 6-4 in an hour and 10 minutes, breaking his opponent thrice in the encounter while not facing a single break-point in return.
Tsitsipas benefitted from his very high first serve percentage – 78 – on which he won 76% of the points, making it very difficult for his opponent.
A semifinalist at the Australian Open earlier this year, following a stunning victory over Rafael Nadal, Tsitsipas is still looking for his maiden Masters triumph. The absence of the Big Three and Dominic Thiem and the early ouster of Alexander Zverev, makes the second seed’s path clearer.
Now for him to ensure he can keep picking off the early wins before the possibility of the first real test against Andrey Rublev in the semifinal. First things first, he has a former world number four to take care of.
Nishikori 6-6 After Slow Start
Nishikori didn’t have the best of starts to the season when he fell to back to back defeats in the ATP Cup and then crashed out of the Australian Open in the very first round. One could argue those losses came against some of the toughest opponents around at the moment; Daniil Medvedev, Diego Schwartzman and Pablo Carreno-Busta.
The results have started coming for Nishikori since then though.
Wins over Alex de Minaur and Felix Auger-Aliassime at Rotterdam took him to the quarterfinal there. And after beating Reilly Opelka, David Goffin and Aljaz Bedene, Nishikori reached the semifinal in Dubai just before this tournament.
At Miami, Nishikori also had a first round bye but to beat Bedene for the second time in about 10 days took a lot more effort, with the match lasting nearly three hours and three long sets before the Japanese player came through 7-6 (6), 5-7, 6-4.
Can he throw in a spanner in Tsitsipas’ works?
Tsitsipas v Nishikori Prediction and Tip
A straight-set win looks very likely but even in that we expect Nishikori to put up a brave front.
Tip: Tsitsipas to win AND 20.5 games in the match: 13/10 (bet365)