TennisSection previews the 2023 Adelaide International as Sebastian Korda takes on Yoshihito Nishioka in the semifinal on Saturday, January 7, 2023.
Sebastian Korda has been in scintillating form thus far at the Adelaide International. But Yoshihito Nishioka will like his chances to take down the lanky American. The Japanese lefty has the weaponry to outsmart the ATP’s biggest hitters, so will he deliver on Saturday?
Sebastian Korda has given us a taste of what we missed during an injury-ravaged 2022 season. Korda didn’t get to play a full schedule due to a foot problem last year, but he seems to have fully recovered from that injury. The American has sailed to the semifinal of the 2023 Adelaide International without dropping a set, besting the likes of Andy Murray, Roberto Bautista Agut, and perhaps resoundingly, Jannik Sinner in the quarters. This run has not been a fluke show by Korda, who will almost certainly break into the world’s Top 30 next week. Only Yoshihito Nishioka stands in his way and a fourth career final.
Yoshihito Nishioka, by contrast, has been taken the distance to reach the semifinals of the Adelaide International. After upsetting Holger Rune in a classic opener, his second-round match was perhaps less demanding physically as he eased past McDonald 6-4 6-3. But it was the quarterfinal that might have taken too much juice out of his legs. Nishioka ended an inspired run by Australian qualifier Alexei Popyrin in a pulsating three-setter that lasted two hours and 43 minutes.
Sebastian Korda leads Yoshihito Nishioka 2-0 in their head-to-head. Ironically, both times Korda went on to reach the final of that tournament when he defeated the Japanese en route. So it is a good omen of sorts that he is playing Nishioka again. In 2021, Korda came out on top of their quarterfinal match in Parma before going on to clinch his first and thus far only ATP title. While last year Korda finished runner-up in Antwerp. I’ll still give the edge to the American world No. 33 at the Adelaide International. His serve trumps that of Nishioka and he will dictate baseline rallies with ease. Add also the fatigue factor. Nishioka played a bruising match against Popyrin and will undoubtedly feel it physically even at this early stage of the season.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Sebastian Korda in 2 sets.
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