2014 U.S. Open runner-up Kei Nishikori will meet Mackenzie McDonald of the U.S. in the second round of the 2021 US Open on Thursday, September 2. Get the live streaming options of this Kei Nishikori v Mackenzie McDonald match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Kei Nishikori v Mackenzie McDonald Head to Head
McDonald beat Nishikori in the Washington semifinal last month to reach a maiden final on the tour.
They also met once at the Challenger level in 2018. Nishikori won that contest in straight sets.
Nishikori Holds Off Caruso
A cool and composed Kei Nishikori marched into the second round of the U.S. Open with a 6-1, 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 win over Italy’s Salvatore Caruso on Tuesday.
Using deft touches and perfect placement, Nishikori was near flawless in the first two sets, breaking Caruso thrice in the first set and twice in the second.
Both held their serves for 11 games in the third before the Italian got the vital break to pull a set back and send out a roar. He showed more emotions as he broke Nishikori to take a 1-2 lead in the fourth, but the former World No. 4 broke back immediately to check the Italian’s excitement.
Both continued to break each others over the next three games, before Nishikori ended the series of five breaks by holding serve and extending his lead to 5-3. In the next game, Caruso dropped serve for the fourth consecutive time in the set and the World No. 56 advanced to the second round.
Overall, Nishikori struck 31 winners and made 37 unforced errors in the match compared to his opponent’s 19 winers and 39 unforced errors.
The U.S. Open tends to bring the best out of the Japanese, who was a finalist in 2014 and a semifinalist in 2016 and 2018. He has been in decent form on hard courts this year and has been in good touch of late, reaching the quarterfinals in Tokyo and the final four in Washington. He will be hoping for another solid performance in his favourite major.
McDonald Upsets the 27th Seed
World No. 61 Mackenzie McDonald upset 27th seed David Goffin to win his first-ever match at the U.S. Open in what is his fourth main draw appearance in the tournament.
The 26-year-old struck 14 aces and 36 winners on his way to a 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 win in two hours and eight minutes. McDonald broke Goffin five times in the match, and saved five of the six break points that he faced.
Ranked No. 61 in the world, the American is enjoying what is possibly the best year in his pro career. The year saw him reach the fourth round of the Australian Open for a first time in his career and also reach a maiden career final in Washington last month.
He eventually lost the ATP 500 final to Jannik Sinner, but won hearts with his performance, which included a win over Nishikori in the semifinals. Will be interesting to see if he can hand the Japanese a second defeat this year.
Nishikori v McDonald Prediction and Tip
Just days after losing to McDonald in Washington, Nishikori gets a chance to get his revenge. His experience, particularly at the U.S. Open, will hold him in good stead, but he will be wary of McDonald’s newfound energy. Expect this to be a good game with Nishikori advancing, but he will need more than three sets to do so.