Adelaide Open 2022: Yoshihito Nishioka vs. Soonwoo Kwon Tennis Pick and Prediction

Adelaide Open 2022: Yoshihito Nishioka vs. Soonwoo Kwon Tennis Pick and Prediction

TennisSection previews the 2022 Adelaide Open as Yoshihito Nishioka takes on Soonwoo Kwon in the first round on Monday, January 3rd, 2022.

Will Yoshihito Nishioka win the battle of the two Asian talents? Will Soonwoo Kwon continue his mesmeric rise on the ATP Tour? This first-round match at the 2022 Adelaide Open is shaping into a finely balanced encounter.  Let us take a look on who comes out on top.

Having ended the 2020 season ranked 56th in the world, Yoshihito Nishioka regressed in 2021, finishing with a win-loss record 10-23, and dropping to 81 in the world rankings. Part of it was due to three documented retirements during the season, either through injury or illness. But in spite of his struggles, there was silver lining to his season when he scored his maiden main draw victory at Wimbledon at the third attempt. The diminutive Japanese shocked World No. 24 John Isner in a mammoth five-setter in the first round. However, he would win just one main draw match in his next 10 tournaments – an appalling return for a player of his talents. Nishioka will look to address that slide when he takes on Soonwoo Kwon in the first round at the 2022 Adelaide Open.

As Yoshihito Nishioka’s season started to flounder, Soonwoo Kwon had relatively less rocky year on the ATP Tour. In fact, the man from South Korea developed into an ostentatious name on the senior tour. Kwon picked up his first ATP title on the indoor hard courts of Nur-Sultan towards the end of the regular ATP season. He defeated three Top 50 players en route to the title and now sits on the cusp of joining the half century club. In the process, he also became the first South Korean in 18 years to win an ATP Tour title. Can he carry that momentum to the 2022 Adelaide Open?

Unsurprisingly, Yoshihito Nishioka and Soonwoo Kwon have not crossed paths on the ATP Tour before this. Now that both players are becoming regular fixtures on the main tour, this could develop into an intriguing rivalry. Nishioka’s worrying drop in form is sufficient enough for me to lose faith in him ahead of his first match at the 2022 Adelaide Open. I still think he has a very solid baseline game and plays with a disciplined approach. But due to his height, his lefty serve is a major area of weakness, as are his counterpunching skills when defending against power-hitting opponents. And that is something Soonwoo Kwon excels at, albeit marginally.

Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Soonwoo Kwon in straight sets.

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