This will be the first time these two players will face each other.
This is the first time that these two players have participated in the final draw of this Masters 1000 in Madrid.
In this edition
In the first round, Casper Ruud easily defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime (who still has a lot of work to do on this surface). Victory 6-1 6-4.
As for Yoshihito Nishioka, he did not manage to get past the qualifiers (he lost his last match to Marcos Giron by withdrawal). He then took advantage of Cameron Norrie’s withdrawal to enter the final draw. To reach the second round, the Japanese won against Filip Krajinovic.
Casper Ruud should be the favorite in the eyes of the bookmakers. He is indeed better ranked, but especially more comfortable on this surface. However, I am far from being confident for the Norwegian since I saw the Japanese against Filip Krajinovic. The latter has been far from being in good form lately, but in this match it was Nishioka who blew him away. The little guy played very aggressive tennis. Close to his line, he was able to send back very fast balls while finding incredible zones. In the first set, Krajinovic didn’t really have much of a say in the matter (he just had to endure).
There is no doubt that Yoshihito Nishioka will be able to win many points if he can play the same way against Casper Ruud. The latter can be quickly overtaken when he has no time to release his shots, and he is much less comfortable when he has to hit the ball at the end of the court.
As you can see, I was really excited by Nishioka’s performance in the first round, and I’m worried about Casper Ruud who didn’t really have the opportunity to show what he could do against Auger-Aliassime (the latter made a lot of faults).
I’m still going to go with a Casper Ruud win, as he has the shots to make his opponent back off and less dangerous. Also, his serve is better and that should allow him to concede fewer chances. Yoshihito Nishioka can offer more opportunities on his service games (especially his seconds). The Norwegian should therefore have more opportunities to break.
I really think that Yoshihito Nishioka can win this match if he can play the same way as in his first match. However, Casper Ruud is an offensive player who should attack him a lot more and therefore prevent him from spreading his wings as much as he did against Krajinovic. In any case, this match could offer us a nice show.
Prediction: Casper Ruud wins