Match Preview Del Potro vs Nishikori 25.03 Miami Open 2018
Miami, USA, Hard Courts, ATP
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Well an inspired performance from David Ferrer put pay to any chance of a Donskoy victory yesterday, the Spaniard played an uncommonly (for him) aggressive game style and also served extremely well throughout. I actually didn’t think Donskoy did too much wrong, just that Ferrer had an answer to everything on the day.
Today we switch our attentions to the match between in form Juan Martin Del Potro and the returning Kei Nishikori.
These two have met 7 times before, with the Argentine winning of 5 of those occasions, 3 of those wins have been on hard courts. Nishikori did beat Del Potro the last time they played though, back in 2017 on the hard courts of Washington, a tournament he won back in 2015.
We all know how good Del Potro has been of late, and his victory over Federer in the final of Indian Wells last week proved that he is back to his very best. He has said this week that he is going to take an extended break after this tournament, so expect him to be giving it his all.
Nishikori has been hampered severely with injuries over the past 12 months, and Millman should have beaten him in Round 2 in my opinion. He looked like he was struggling throughout the match and i’m just not convinced by his level of fitness.
Del Potro’s Recent Hard Court Mean Serving Stats
Won 68% of his service points
Held serve 89% of the time
Del Potro’s serve is a bomb, it’s hard, flat and difficult to read. Expect plenty of aces from him today, and don’t expect to see him broken too often, if at all.
Nishikori’s Recent Hard Court Mean Serving Stats
Won 61% of his service points
Held serve 73% of the time
Nishikori’s serve is the weakest part of his game, his second serve is likely to be heavily punished by Del Potro today, as it will be hit with topspin and right into the Argentine’s hitting zone. Expect the Argentine to break the Japenese players serve with relative ease today.
Del Potro’s Recent Hard Court Mean Returning Stats
Won 38% of his return points
Won 38% of his break points
Opponents have held 76% of the time against him
I would say the return of serve is the most underrated part of Del Potro’s game, he can block the ball back, hit aggressively off both first and second serves and can quickly read serving patterns from even the best servers in the men’s game. I expect him to break often today.
Nishikori’s Recent Hard Court Mean Returning Stats
Won 38% of his return points
Won 19% of his break points
Opponents have held 86% of the time against him
These numbers do not look promising if you’re a Nishikori fan and are going to be trying to break the Del Potro serve today. He will need to take every opportunity that comes his way today, and with a break point conversion % of just 19% recently, that’s going to need some serious improvement on. I see Del Potro holding with relative ease throughout today.
Del Potro’s Groundstrokes
Delpo has a huge flat forehand, and hits predominantly with slice off the backhand wing, however he is starting to hit over that backhand a lot more now. He possesses such massive power and accuracy, especially off his forehand that i just can’t see Nishikori being able to defend against it often enough today.
Nishikori will mix aggression with consistent groundstrokes off both sides from the back of the court. He can change defence into attack in the blink of an eye off either wing, and for a guy with a fairly diminutive stature, he can hit clean ball due to his excellent timing. I just can’t see that he is going to be able to settle into a rhythm today, and he’s certainly not going to be the one dictating the points out there.
I’m going for a convincing Delpo win here, and very likely in straight sets.
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