Fixture: Novak Djokovic (1) vs Kei Nishikori
Date: 4th September 2021
Round: 3rd round
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize Money: $40,560,000
Djokovic vs Nishikori Match Preview:
Djokovic will face his old rival Nishikori in the 3rd round of the US Open 2021 on Saturday. Int he 2nd round match, Djokovic defeated Tallon Griekspoor 6-2, 6-3, 6-2. In the second round match, the Serbian star was not at is all best but he showed some improvement from the 1st round game against the Danish player Holger Rune. Djokovic kept his Calendar Slam hopes alive with 33 winners which included 13 aces. The 20-time Grand Slam champion, Djokovic also won 80% of his 1st serve points and also broke Grieskspoor six times. Djokovic also get broken once but after that he did not give any chance to the Dutchman in the next games. Djokovic would love to reduce the unforced error count as he will advance in the tournament. He made 20 unforced errors on Thursday and 5 out of them all were double faults.
On the other hand Nishikori won his 2nd round game over American Mackenzie McDonald. It was a very closely-fought game. At one point Nishikori was leading the match with 2 sets to love but then McDonald made a tremendous comeback and levelled the match. In the decider, the Japanese came up much stronger and won the match with 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-7(5), 2-6, 6-3 scoreline. The match lasted for 4 hours and during this period, Nishikori struck 45 winner and made 57 unforced errors. McDonald on the other hand also struck 45 winners and 54 unforced errors. The closeness of the match can be judged by the fact that both players broke each other’s serve eight times each.
Head to Head:
Djokovic leads Nishikori with 17-2 margin but Nishikori has beaten Djokovic in US Open before; in 2014 US Open semi final the Japanese Nishikori defeated Djokovic. Int he final of 2014 Nishikori was beaten by Marin Čilić 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. After that, Djokovic registered 16 straight wins against the Japanese which include the most recent Tokyo Olympics. According to the statistics, Djokovic should be the favorite to win the match with straight sets but you never know with tennis anything can happen on any day.