Due to start at 6:30 pm
Nishikori 1.52, Wawrinka 2.88
Wawrinka leads their previous matches 5-4. Their last meeting In August last year on a hard court in Cincinnati. Wawrinka won that one in straight sets. He leads 4-3 on hard courts.
Stronger overall results in the last 12 months for Nishikori. Wawrinka didn’t play as many matches as he tried to get back into some sort of form after injury. Nishikori has slightly better indoor results.
Wawrinka has had the tougher opponents this week. Five of his 6 sets have been very tight and he has played a tie break in each round. Benoit Paire was a good warm up in the first round. Milos Raonic made him work harder but Stan faced just 1 break point which he saved. Denis Shapovalov had beaten him in October, also on an indoor court but this time it was Stan’s day. Shapovalov broke him twice but was beaten in straight sets.
Even though Wawrinka has played the bigger names this week Nishikori has met some players who have all shown strong recent form. Pierre-Hughes Herbert was the only player to take a set from him. Ernests Gulbis has played some decent tennis in recent months but only managed to force 1 break point on the Nishikori serve. He did convert it. Marton Fucsovics has had some good results indoors and managed to break the Nishikori serve twice but was also taken out in straight sets.
Some value on Wawrinka. Stats for the tournament favour Nishikori but both have served well. Lay Nishikori around 1.35 and remove liability at 1.70. Lay the set 1 winner.