TennisSection previews the 2021 US Open as Novak Djokovic takes on Kei Nishikori in the Round of 32 on Saturday, September 4th, 2021.
Will Kei Nishikori come out and get one of the biggest wins of his career as well as one of the most shocking upsets so far here at the 2021 US Open? Will Novak Djokovic continue to improve his game as he aims to get better for the more important rounds in his quest for his 21st Grand Slam title? Both players know each other and can beat each other, but only one will make their way to the Round of 16 of the 2021 US Open. Who will it be?
Kei Nishikori reiterated that he is the 5-set king as he beat Mackenzie McDonald in the Round of 64, winning against the American in 5 sets 7-6/6-3/6-7/2-6/6-3. Kei was dominant in the first two sets, but then as he usually does in grand slams he lets his guard down when he is ahead by a bit. This allowed Mackenzie to push him around and then gain some more confidence, which then turned into the match being taken to a 5th set. However, as we see time after time with Kei, he is able to recompose himself in the 5th set and get his best tennis out to get the win. Kei will be happy with this win, but he will know that he cannot afford to give anything away now that he meets Novak Djokovic here at the 2021 US Open, and his backhand game needs to be at its best and willing to take risks in changing direction.
Novak Djokovic cruised through his match against Tallon Griekspoor, beating him in straight sets 6-2/6-3/6-2. Novak definitely improved some aspects of his game, with his serve being more consistent, however, his opponent was not as good as Holger Rune so he was not as under pressure. Novak knows he has to always improve and work his way up to his absolute best level before next week, and he will have a great chance to test his game now that he meets Kei Nishikori who will definitely give him some good rallies to get involved in here at the 2021 US Open.
Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori have met 19 times before, with Novak Djokovic leading the head to head 17-2. They recently met in Tokyo at the Olympic where Novak dominated in straight sets 6-2/6-0. Although that was a demolition, I think the fact that this a best of 5 set match, and the fact that the crowd will be behind Kei at some moments. Kei can handle long rallies with Novak, and he has a very strong backhand, so I think this will get him one set under his belt. However, at the end of the day, not many can compete with Novak in a best of 5 set match, and Novak is on a mission here at the 2021 US Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Novak Djokovic in 4 Sets.
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