Marcos Giron – Kei Nishikori
Kei Nishikori is at home, on his favorite surface and in an atypical event (which is highly publicized in Japan). Plus, he had a solid first match against Andrey Rublev. That tells me he didn’t come home just to see the family.
Marcos Giron has some interesting qualities on this surface. His aggressiveness, especially on the forehand, can help him win many points. On the other hand, he could be playing against an opponent who is much sharper than him in the offensive game. The American is much less sharp when he has to take the game and I expect Kei Nishikori to come out on top more than once.
Prediction: Kei Nishikori
Ugo Humbert – Miomir Kecmanovic
Here is a nice match between two players of the new generation. Miomir Kecmanovic leads in the head-to-head (with 3 wins in 5 matches), but he lost the last two confrontations. Moreover, the Serbian has only 37,5 % of victories against left-handed players on this surface and Ugo Humbert is certainly playing the best tennis of his career at the moment.
In my opinion, the key to this match is in the hands of Ugo Humbert. The Frenchman is a very offensive player who should be the first to take initiatives. Miomir Kecmanovic can indeed take some time before attacking. He prefers to be consistent in the rallies and push his opponents to the fault. In his first match, Humbert went for many points by himself and I expect him to do so again in this match.
Prediction: Ugo Humbert