Rising star Grigor Dimitrov and world No. 21 Kei Nishikori will meet for a second time on the professional tour on Sunday afternoon, as the two competitors battle for a spot in the fourth round of the Sony Open. For Dimitrov, this is an opportunity to avenge his loss to the Japanese No. 1 at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, while Nishikori will simply be looking for a season-best performance this fortnight in Miami. Check out the Dimitrov vs Nishikori Head to Head.
While world No. 16 Grigor Dimitrov appeared to have his second round match against Albert Montaes under control – cruising to a 6-1 lead in the opening set – the world No. 59 retaliated with a strong second set, which ended with a tiebreaker in his favour to force a deciding set. The Bulgarian once again righted his wrongs and closed out the match comfortably 6-3. The 15th seed will hope for a more consistent display when he steps across the court from the Japanese No. 1 on Sunday.
Unlike his upcoming opponent, Nishikori breezed into the third round in Miami with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Australia’s Marinko Matosevic. While he has been relatively successful with his new coach, former world No. 1 Michael Chang, Nishikori failed to build on his U.S National Indoor Tennis Championships title defence, as he lost in the third round at Indian Wells to bring his overall record this season to 14-4.
This is the second time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Nishikori winning their Shanghai Masters encounter in straight sets. Much has changed over the past six months, as Dimitrov has gradually established himself into a Top 20 competitors, and continues to swell with confidence. This will likely be a much tighter affair, ending in a potential third set tiebreaker.
Prediction: Grigor Dimitrov in Three Sets