Following their recent encounters in the fourth round of the Wimbledon Championships and US Open, Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori are scheduled to meet once again, this time in the final of an ATP 500 level event. This is the fifth time these two competitors will meet on the professional circuit, with Nishikori leading the head-to-head series 3-1. This will also serve as a rematch of the 2012 final in Tokyo, which Nishikori also won.
Watch the match live here: Nishikori vs Raonic
After dropping the first set in startling fashion, Kei Nishikori rallied back to defeat Germany’s Benjamin Becker 4-6, 6-0, 7-6(2) to out himself at 8-0 since losing the US Open final to Marin Cilic. He is coming off a title win in Malaysia and will be looking to add to that mantle en route to the Barclays ATP World Tour Final.
“It was a tough match,” said Nishikori. “He started really well and I have to give him credit for the first set. I started playing well in the second and it was really tough in the third set. “I experienced nerves so I tried to focus on my first serve, because he was serving bombs. They were tough to return. In the tie-break anything can happen and I got lucky.”
Unlike his upcoming opponent, Canada’s Milos Raonic eased into the final in Tokyo with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Gilles Simon. He struck 11 aces, won 81% of his first service points and faced no break points en route to his 71 minute victory over the Frenchman.
“It’s going to be a tough match,” said Nishikori. “He is playing really well this week. We always battle. It is amazing to play against him in a final here.”
While Raonic was able to pick up his first win over Nishikori at the Wimbledon Championships, he had his momentum halted in the US Open, which was where Nishikori embarked on his run to the tournament final. While the Canadian is capable of pulling out the victory, particularly with Nishikori’s odd performance in the semi-final, he will have his work cut out for him to produce the victory on Nishikori’s home soil.
Prediction: Kei Nishikori in Three Sets