A compelling fourth round contest between two respectively top ranked competitors in Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori is scheduled to take place on Tuesday afternoon at the Wimbledon Championships. This is the third time these two competitors will meet on the professional circuit, with Nishikori leading the head-to-head series 2-0.
Milos Raonic secured his spot in the fourth round of the championships on Saturday with a straight sets win over fellow big server Lukasz Kubot. He managed to survive the tight encounter without dropping serve once and struck 30 aces to win the match 7-6(2), 7-6(4), 6-2 in one hour and 46 minutes.
“I don’t think [I’ve played] a match, especially in a Grand Slam, where I was able to be as dominant as I was on my serve,” said Raonic. “There is a lot of good tennis that’s been played [so far], but now you got to sort of step up your level. It’s not about just getting through. At this point in the tournament you have to be playing good tennis and you got to compete like crazy.”
Unlike his upcoming opponent, Japanese No. 1 Kei Nishikori was forced to contest his third round match on Monday, where he rallied from a set down early to defeat Simone Bolelli 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-4.
“This one was a very tight match for me because he was playing really aggressive and flat, both sides, especially the forehand. He was hitting a lot of winners, and sometimes I didn’t know what to do. I was kind of like a yo-yo. I was running from side to side. I think on Saturday he was playing much better than me. But today there were some lucky shots. At 3-All I was down 15/40 on my serve. There was some luck, too.
“There was a lot of stress these two days, especially yesterday. I never had something like this, after playing a fifth set, taking one day off, playing again today. It wasn’t easy. But I’m very happy to win today. So hopefully I play another good one tomorrow.”
Of all the fourth round matches taking place on Tuesday, this is arguably the toughest contest to predict, as it is between two of the sport’s bright young talents, both of whom are playing exceptional tennis on the tour. While Nishikori is undefeated in the series, this contest should favour Raonic, who will hev the benefit of the rest days to prepare for the contest.
Prediction: Milos Raonic in Five Sets