TennisSection previews the 2021 US Open as Kei Nishikori takes on Mackenzie McDonald in the Round of 64 on Thursday, September 2nd, 2021.
Will Kei Nishikori go through? Will Mackenzie McDonald pull off the upset? This match will be an interesting one, where we will have a re-match of their Washington Open semi-final, in what should be an enthralling match. Who will move on to the Round of 32 at the 2021 US Open?
Kei Nishikori got a pretty good win to set up this meeting with Mackenzie McDonald, despite dropping a set, he had a fantastic break point conversion rate of 9/14 break points converted. He returned quite brilliantly, using his consistent and very versatile groundstrokes to his advantage. It will definitely be a very hard match against McDonald, even if he is the favorite, he lost their semi-final in Washington which was only a few weeks ago. I suspect it will be a close match, with the result primarily resting in who can play more aggressively with less errors. Nishikori and McDonald are quite similar players, so I think whoever can place more shots in the corners and run their opponent around more will win, neither player is particularly tall, and thus both of them have rather poor serves compared to the average serve on the ATP Tour. It will definitely be a close one as the two fight for a spot in the Round of 32 at the 2021 US Open.
Mackenzie McDonald played a great match to take out David Goffin, the twenty-seventh seed in the first round. While Goffin is playing nowhere near his top level, and has been in a slump for many months now, it’s still a great win considering the way in which he did it and the mental resolve he showed throughout. He is not the favorite as he will come up against Kei Nishikori, despite recently defeating him in a dramatic match. I think McDonald will push Nishikori quite a bit, but the fact that he’s definitely lacking in experience and being able to take on top players in best of five matches, it will be an uphill battle for him for a lot of the match. He can definitely win, although the conditions do not favor him as much as they do Kei, who is a fantastic fast court player. Let’s see if he can push Nishikori and take him out for a spot in the Round of 32 at the 2021 US Open.
Kei Nishikori and Mackenzie McDonald have met once before, with Mackenzie McDonald leading the head to head 1-0. As I already mentioned, they played a very close match in the 2021 Washington Open semifinals, just a few weeks ago. McDonald quite simply outplayed him, being able to play that aggressive tennis we know he loves to play, this is something he’ll have to do again, although this time, Nishikori is more prepared, he’s on a faster court, and the format is best of five. None of those things will be favoring McDonald, Nishikori is way more experienced, and in my opinion will be able to return better, as is evident in their breakpoint conversion rates, where Nishikori was able to convert on 9/14 break points, whilst McDonald only on 5/12. While that’s not bad, it’s definitely not as good as Nishikori, who will most likely play better in the most important moments, and just edge him out to get the win as he attempts to move on to the Round of 32 at the 2021 US Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Kei Nishikori in 5 Sets.
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