World number seven Andrey Rublev will be up against Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the first round of the Olympics men’s singles on Saturday, July 24. Get the live streaming options of this Andrey Rublev v Kei Nishikori match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Andrey Rublev v Kei Nishikori Head to Head
There has been one previous meeting between these two players and Nishikori had won that in Cincinnati in 2018.
Rublev Back on His Favourite Surface
Indoor and outdoor hard courts are Rublev’s favourite surfaces and that can not just be seen from his overall win-loss record on those but also the fact six of his eight titles have come on them.
More recently, Rublev also made it to the final on the grass of Halle where he went down to Ugo Humbert but there’s no doubting the Russian will be chuffed to play on hard courts.
It’s where he won all four of his ATP Cup matches and reached the quarterfinal at Australian Open. And it’s also where Rublev won a title in Rotterdam, and entered the semifinal at Miami Masters.
This is not to say he will have it easy given the tricky opponent he has on show, a player he has lost to on hard courts. But those were different days with Rublev having risen from 115th on the ATP Rankings in 2019 to his current career-best of seventh in the world.
Can he start off with a win against the local lad?
Nishikori Looking to Make it Count at Home
Once ranked fourth in the world, Nishikori has suffered from injury, pandemic absence and coronavirus itself to fall to 69th in the world at the moment.
While his old self might never return, Nishikori will be hoping to build on the kind of season he has had so far; slow but steady.
Nishikori, who had made the fourth round at French Open and was a quarterfinalist in Dubai, is an all-court player too, with his hard court win-loss ratio of 0.67 being on the lines of 0.68 on clay and 0.62 on grass.
A bronze medallist at the last Olympics, Nishikori might not have it easy this time as he faces a top-10 player in the first round itself. And while Nishikori has recorded 39 wins over top-10 players including Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, he hasn’t claimed such a victim since 2018.
Rublev v Nishikori Prediction and Tip
This might see Nishikori put up a brave fight but would that be enough to get past Rublev, I don’t think so. Expect a fighting but straight-set win for Rublev.