These two confirmed ATP tour players have already crossed paths three times in official matches. Alexander Zverev leads in this head-to-head with two wins, but Kei Nishikori won the only match played on clay (Monte Carlo 2018).
This is Kei Nishikori’s ninth main draw appearance in this tournament. He has only lost once in the 2nd round (to Wawrinka in his last appearance in 2019), and his best performance is a final in 2014.
As for Alexander Zverev, he has already played 3 times in this Madrid Masters 1000. He always managed to reach the 1/4 finals, and he lifted the trophy once (in 2018).
In this edition
In the 1st round, Kei Nishikori won against Karen Khachanov, in 3 sets (including a tie-break lost).
For his part, Alexander Zverev takes advantage of his ranking to make his entry into this tournament in the second round.
Kei Nishikori is back to his best since he started competing again. In the first round of this tournament against Khachanov, he proved that he is riding the same wave as in Barcelona (and we say yes).
Opposite the Japanese, there will be Alexander Zverev, who has made a small flop during his stay in Munich. The German didn’t manage to get past the quarter-finals, but he was also very shaky on his serve (with 10 break balls and 14 double faults in his last match).
Alexander Zverev will have to raise his game if he wants to win his first match of the tournament. Perhaps he can take advantage of the faster ball conditions to outplay his opponent more than once.
However, I’m going to focus on Kei Nishikori because he’s made the biggest impression on me since the beginning of the clay court season. The Japanese has proven that he can play long matches with the same intensity. In addition, he takes a lot of initiative and plays the right shots to stifle his opponents.
Kei Nishikori’s offensive tennis could well succeed in titillating Alexander Zverev, who will play his first match in Madrid. Moreover, the former world No. 4 has a great return of serve, which could make the German doubt his ability.
I expect a great fight here. This is definitely one of the matches of the 2nd round to watch.
Prediction: Kei Nishikori wins