Australian Open: Novak Djokovic vs Kei Nishikori
Kei Nishikori is now 26 yo and really needs to get that slam breakthrough win sooner rather than later, otherwise it might never come. He really ought to have won the 2014 US Open, but was a bit of a no show in the final, after beating Novak Djokovic in four sets in the semis, as you might expect and as you have to, to beat the world number one in any match, let alone a slam semi, Nishikori played all the big points well. It was no one off as the Japanese star is 2-2 with Djokovic on hard courts and he will probably fancy his chances today after watching Nole hit 100 (!) unforced errors against Gilles Simon in R4. This is not totally unknown for Djokovic (ok, maybe the number of u/e were) , but he was similarly making a lot of errors in build up to that meeting in New York. Nishikori takes the ball very early, cuts out angles, stands high up in court and all that will increase the pressure on the #1 and I would certainly not rule out another upset . He was very relaxed and in confident mood after beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in three sets in R4 and clearly facies his chances ..............
Q. You are always concerned about your physic situation. Your body, wrist, legs. Are you okay now?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, it's all good. Feeling very good. My body and also tennis is very good. Very looking forward to play next round.
Q. What would you say is the most difficult thing when facing Djokovic for you?
KEI NISHIKORI: I think the biggest thing is he doesn't miss, you know. He doesn't give you easy points, any free points. I have to, you know, be the one to dictate. I think he's serving well, too.
It always makes tough player.
Q. You won in straight sets here. How much does that mean in terms of in case the next match goes, I don't know, five sets, four hours? Do you think you'll be able to keep the same level throughout the match?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, for sure. It's great to finish straight sets always, especially Grand Slam is two weeks, so it's long time. Takes some time than usual tournament. It's great to finish quick.
But actually, yeah, I'm feeling great. You know, even I think play four or five sets, I should be okay, especially live close. You know, it's easy for body. Yeah, I have good feeling. Yeah, like I said, looking forward to play next one.
Q. How do you feel both you and Novak have developed since that match at the US Open?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, that gives me a lot of confidence to play against him again, but we played in London and he, you know, kind of destroy me. It wasn't easy match for me. It's different condition, but I hope I can make some changes and try to play better.
Yeah. I'm ready to beat him again.
Q. Today's match was quite one sided compared to previous encounters with Jo. What's different this time around? What's going well?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, I'm surprised that I broke him early every set. I was returning well today, so that makes I think tough for him to have good serve all the time.
Yeah, seems like he doesn't have many first serve in today. That makes me easy to return my game. Yeah, I think today was, you know, very good tactics for me. Played very patient.
When I have opportunity, you know, I tried to come in sometimes. Using my forehands more and very aggressive certain moment. Yeah, I felt like everything was working well today.
Q. Few days ago, Verdasco, after he beat Nadal, said that he had watched his match versus Nadal seven years earlier ten times. Have you watched your match versus Djokovic at the US Open many times or never? Was there a reaction when you watched it?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, I do watch it sometimes when I want some, you know, confidence or, you know...
That match I played one of the best tennis in my life, so, you know, I watch couple times. Yeah, I'm sure try to watch again before next match, I mean, if he wins today.
Yeah, I tried to learn many things from the previous match.
Despite half of his ten grand slam wins coming at the Australian Open, Djokovic is 3-5 here in quarter finals and this is clearly his most vulnerable round in Melbourne, especially as his qf record in the other three slams is 23-3.
over 35 games 1.917 Pinnacle Sports/Sportmarket.
Kei Nishikori to beat Novak Djokovic 6.92 Pinnacle Sports/Sportmarket