Andy Murray might have come into the French Open in awful form for a World No. 1 but he has at least reversed that to some extent in making the quarter finals with him also being heavily favoured to win Wednesday’s match with Kei Nishikori.
After a straight sets win in the previous round against Juan Martin Del Potro, Murray came into the 4th round facing an young opponent having a career tournament in Karen Khachanov. He handled the Russian handily, winning in straight sets, rarely struggling on serve with just two breaks suffered. “I think today was probably the best I have played overall,” said Murray. “It was difficult conditions. It was pretty windy out there and wasn’t easy. Each match I feel like I played better. I have hit the ball cleaner and started to see the right shots at the right moments. I’ve come a long way the past 10 days or so.”
Nishikori has had an up and down tournament so far and there was little different in his 4 set win over Fernando Verdasco. It began with him suffering a bagel set and ended with the reverse in the fourth as Nishikori had one of his best sets in the tournament so far. Injury has always been a concern for him but he dismissed any worries coming into this match. “Physically I’m okay. a little bit sore. I couldn’t do anything in the first set but I tried tried to play a little more heavy and a little more aggressive. But still it was a really, really tough battle. There was so many long rallies. I don’t know how I got the second and third sets. The fourth, I played perfect tennis.” the Japanese star said.
Murray has dominated the matchup in previous years going 8-2 although the latest slam meeting was last year in New York, where Nishikori came back from 2-1 to earn a surprise win – one of very few over Murray in the latter half of the year. Murray seems to be rising to the occasion now and with the 2 biggest threats in the other half of the draw, the final is in his grasp.
Prediction: Andy Murray in 4 sets