TennisSection previews the 2021 Washington Open as Kei Nishikori meets Mackenzie McDonald in the Semi-Finals on Saturday August 7th, 2021.
The unseeded pair of Kei Nishikori and Mackenzie McDonald face off for a spot in the Final of the 2021 Washington Open. Both men have been solid so far, upsetting higher-ranked opponents in their path to the Semi-Finals. Will the American be able to cause the minor upset here on home soil and reach his first Final of the season? Or will it be the veteran Japanese player Nishikori advancing as expected?
Kei Nishikori is unseeded here at the 2021 Washington Open and is currently ranked #67 on the ATP Tour. The veteran has had a miserable past few seasons with injuries and loss of form, but is finally starting to show signs of getting back to his best when he was ranked within the top 5 players in the world. The Japanese star has caused three consecutive upsets over Alexander Bublik, Cameron Norrie and Lloyd Harris to reach this stage, and has displayed his counter-attacking brilliance here, grinding his opponents down and transitioning well between defense and offense. He enters this match as the favorite over Mackenzie McDonald as the heavy favorite due to his extensive experience and he will be tough to beat here.
Mackenzie McDonald is ranked #107 in the ATP world rankings and like his opponent Kei Nishikori is unseeded here at the 2021 Washington Open. The American has been relatively hit or miss throughout his entire career, and has never displayed much consistency, which is why he is usually languishing lower down in the rankings. He has displayed that he is capable of some great tennis however, and has a host of upset wins to his name. Despite his small stature he packs a big punch, and can outhit most opponents from the baseline in addition to being an elite mover on the court. He dominated countryman Denis Kudla in the Quarter-Finals, setting up this interesting clash with Nishikori.
This will be the first meeting between the two players on the ATP Tour, and it is likely to be an intense one between two experienced and in-form players. Kei Nishikori has the advantage when it comes to experience, and Mackenzie McDonald is player with the home crowd behind him. While they have both looked strong this week, it is hard to look past the Japanese star here. When he is fully fit and in form he is still capable of some world class tennis, and is a better player than his ranking suggests. McDonald is a good player but can be erratic at times, something that the ultra-consistent Nishikori will be sure to exploit. It may be close in the beginning, but expect Nishikori to figure his opponent out early and claim a relatively comfortable victory here at the 2021 Washington Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Kei Nishikori to win
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