After failing to take his chances in a straight sets defeat to Hubert Hurkacz in Metz, Andy Murray looks to regroup when he takes on old rival Kei Nishikori in a tough opening round match in San Diego.
Murray is statistically better on serve especially when under pressure while Nishikori has been the more clinical of the two players on return. This match will once again test the Brit’s ability to win pressure points against high-level opposition.
Nishikori has had a good second half to the season and his third round performance against Novak Djokovic solidified that. The Japanese star’s baseline game mixed with more aggressive style of play at the net has seen him have relative success and has seen him be tough to beat again.
Murray will need to be aggressive and try to shorten the points as much as possible. It may be possible for the three time grand slam champion to remain tolerant within rallies however Nishikori has often won that chess match with most of his opponents this season. This is another opportunity for Murray to show that he can win the big points against high-quality opponents, something he has failed to do this season.
Prediction: Nishikori in three sets.
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