Nishikori vs Dimitrov
2nd round in Rome and a match between the third seeded Dimitrov and the Japanese Kei Nishikori.
Awful draw for Grigor if I have to be honest. He doesn't have to defend points because last year he lost to Del Potro in the start of the tournament and that's the only good news. It's obvious Grigor is trying to find his form but it still doesn't happen. Maybe some people will say that there's a progress in his performance in comparison with the last years- QF in Barcelona, SF in Monte Carlo. Yeah, that's true, but now he has upper ranking than before and that gives him easier opponents in the start, so he has to win much more points on clay. BUT Nishikori in the 2nd round- I thought that last year he was unlucky with DelPo in the start, but that's even worse.. Nishikori plays regularly in the last months and even he's far away from the almost mistakeless player, he was before his period out of the court, he's the favorite here for sure. Slower clay courts because of the colder weather- that's nightmare for Grigor, he has to give his absolute max against Nishikori to take the win. I can't see that happening against brilliant player in defense combined with so many unforced errors and double faults he did in the previous tours, especially against Busta and Raonic.
Both of the players made great torunament in Monte Carlo, where Dimitrov was eliminated in the SF by Nadal, while Nishikori suffered the same thing in the final by the Spaniard. The opponents Nishikori eliminated on his way proves that he's ready to play against the biggest in the tour, even not in his best form- Berdych, Medvedev, Seppi, Cilic, Alex Zverev.. most of these are to tricky players or one of the best in the world, so he's ready to take another scalp..the loss against Djokovic in Madrid was expected for me, he always plays hard against him, like Dimitrov is in the same situation when faces Nishikori. Here in Rome Nishikori played one match against Feliciano Lopez and won in straight sets.
Dimitrov loses against Nishikori H2H- it's 3:1 for the Japanese and the last match was the only win for Grigor in the final in Brisbane last year, when Grigor was almost mistakeless in amazing form he developed in Melbourne with the SF against Rafa. I don't see how he can repeat that performance or to be even close to it. Kolhschreiber is waiting some of these players in the 3rd round and Nishikori is much closer to be his opponent. I wish I'm wrong, but the chances for Grigor are small here. MAx stake for Nishikori. Hope he will perform better in France before going on the grass courts!
Nishikori vs Dimitrov prediction
|Nishikori||Pinnacle||1.74||10||1-2 WON (+7.4 units)|