Two-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist Kei Nishikori of Japan will face Australia’s Alexei Popyrin in the first round of the 2021 Wimbledon on Tuesday, June 29. Get the live streaming options of this Kei Nishikori v Alexei Popyrin match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Kei Nishikori v Alexei Popyrin Head to Head
This will be a first meeting between the 31-year-old Japanese and the 21-year-old Aussie.
Nishikori Was a Quarterfinalist in 2018 and 2019
2014 U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori comes to Wimbledon having reached the quarterfinals in the previous two editions.
A 12-time champion and 14-time runner-up on the tour, the Japanese has never made it to a grass final, but comes to his 12th Wimbledon with a 41-25 career record on the surface. He is 1-1 this year, having beaten Ricardas Berankis and lost to Sebastian Korda at Halle.
Overall, the former World No. 4 is 14-12 this year. He had a 0-3 start to the season, before he finally got going at Rotterdam, reaching the quarterfinals. He also made it to the last eight in Dubai and the Round of 16 in Barcelona and Rome.
At the French Open, the three-time quarterfinalist won two draining five-setters en route the Round of 16, but couldn’t reach the last eight after falling to Alexander Zverev in straight sets. The thrilling five-set wins over Alessandro Giannessi in the first round and Karen Khachanov in the second, took the World No. 53’s fifth set record to 26-7.
At Wimbledon 2019, Nishikori beat Thiago Monteiro, Cameron Norrie, Steve Johnson and Mikhail Kukushkin before losing to Roger Federer in the quarterfinals.
He also made it to the last eight in 2018, but his run ended with a defeat to Novak Djokovic.
Popyrin Doesn’t Have Much Experience on Grass
Facing Nishikori in the first round will be Australia’s Alexei Popyrin. The 21-year-old, who won his maiden title earlier this year, comes to his second Wimbledon with a 1-3 grass record in 2021.
Popyrin lost to Feliciano Lopez in the first round in Stuttgart and to Daniel Evans in the opening round at Queen’s. He finally got the season’s first grass court win at Eastbourne, rallying from a set down to beat Norbert Gombos and then squandered a one-set advantage against Ilya Ivashka in the next round.
Ranked 67th in the world, the Australian is 16-12 this year and captured his first title in Singapore in February. He defeated Christopher Eubanks, Adrian Andreev, Matthew Ebden, Marin Cilic (semifinal) and Alexander Bublik (final) to lift the title.
In other significant performances this year, he reached the Round of 16 in Madrid and the Round of 32 in Miami and Monte Carlo.
Popyrin won his opening round match on Wimbledon debut in 2019, shocking Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta in straight sets but fell to Daniil Medvedev in the next round.
Nishikori v Popyrin Prediction and Tip
Given Nishikori’s experience, he will be the favourite to win the contest and advance for a meeting with either Casper Ruud or Jordan Thompson.