Japanese No. 1 Kei Nishikori made a winning return to the tour following his historic step as the first male Japanese finalist at the US Open. He is now scheduled to meet Australia’s Marinko Matosevic in the quarter-final round of the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur. Nishikori leads the series 4-0, including two consecutive wins in 2014 on hard courts.
Top seed Kei Nishikori rebounded from his loss to Marin Cilic in the 2014 US Open final with a strong start to his Malaysian Open run. He defeated Rajeev Ram 6-2, 6-3 on Wednesday afternoon to set up his quarter-final meeting on Friday. Nishikori won 72% of his first service points and converted four break point opportunities to close out the match in 65 minutes and pick up his 41st match win of the season.
Australia’s Marinko Matosevic worked his way to the quarter-final stage with a 7-6(5), 6-4 win over Japan’s Go Soeda. Marinko hit 6 aces, win 67% of his first service points and saved 12 of 16 break point opportunities against him.
This marks the fifth time that Nishikori and Matosevic will meet on the professional tour, with Nishikori yet to lose a single one of those meetings. He has already beaten the Australian twice so far this season and is primed to pick up another comfortable win on Friday afternoon.
Prediction: Kei Nishikori in Straight Sets