Top seeded and Japan’s Kei Nishikori, ranked seventh in the world, will play the dangerous Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the opening round at the 2019 Rotterdam Open. This match will be played on Tuesday, February 12 and is scheduled to take place at 7.30 pm local time (6.30 pm BST).
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Kei Nishikori v Pierre-Hugues Herbert Head to Head
The pair have met once before, at the Miami Masters in 2016 where Nishikori beat Herbert in straight sets, 6–2, 7–6.
Nishikori – Fully Recovered from Melbourne?
Kei Nishikori has not played for nearly a month so should come until the tournament fresh. He started the year in excellent form winning the Brisbane Open to claim his 12th senior ATP career title.
In Melbourne he reached his fourth Australian Open quarter-final, but, playing against Novak Djokovic and losing 6-1, 4-1, he was forced to quit the match with a thigh injury, the 21st time in his career he has had to retire in the middle of a match.
Critics have hinted that when it comes to the biggest tournaments and the elite players that Nishikori can be found wanting, but away from the Grand Slams, he has a good record and will be hoping for a good run this week.
Herbert – in the Form of his Life
Herbert is in the form of his life. On the singles’ side, he began the year by reaching the quarter-finals in Doha, and then followed that up by making it through to the last 32, before losing in straight sets to Milos Raonic.
Then last week at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier, he got all the way to the final, beating Denis Shapovalov on the way, before losing to compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Meanwhile, this doubles specialist clinched the Australian Open title with his partner Nicholas Mahut, giving the pair a complete set of Grand Slam doubles titles.
Now at a career high world ranking in singles of 36, Nishikori would have preferred an easier opponent for his first round match in Rotterdam.
Nishikori v Herbert Predictions & Tips
According to the odds, Nishikori will start the match odds-on favourite at 4/11. That may be a little generous to the Japanese, who is playing a man close to the top of his game. Herbert at 44/19 may be an interesting bet but again, expecting a hard-fought, three-setter for which bet365 are offering 7/4 right now.
You can watch & bet on Kei Nishikori v Pierre-Hugues Herbert on Tuesday, February 12. The match will be held from 8.30 pm CET onwards.