With wins in their first two matches at the Bank of the West Classic, France’s Richard Gasquet and world No. 11 Kei Nichikori will meet for the fifth time on the professional tour, and the first time this season. Gasquet remains undefeated in the head-to-head series against Nishikori with a 4-0 record, which includes three straight sets wins on hard court.
Fourth seed Kei Nishikori began his week in Washington with a three-set victory over local favourite Sam Querrey. He would follow up with another three-set battle against Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko, whom he defeated 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 in 1 hour and 29 minutes. The Japanese No. 1 struck 8 aces, won 82% of his first serve points and converted 5 of 7 break points to secure the victory.
After receiving a bye through the first round of the tournament, sixth seed Richard Gasquet defeated Israel’s Dudi Sela in the second round of the tournament before edging Tim Smyczek 6-3, 6-2 in their firs ever encounter on the professional tour. It was a clean performance from the Frenchman, who struck 5 aces, converted all three break point opportunities and conceded none in return. The contest lasted exactly 60 minutes.
This marks the fifth time these two competitors will cross paths on the ATP World Tour, with the Frenchman leading the head-to-head series with an unblemished 4-0 record. Considering Gasquet appears to be playing comfortably and without pain this week, it would be hard to pick against him reaching the semi-final round of the tournament.
Prediction: Richard Gasquet in Three Sets