Andy Murray vs. Kei Nishikori: Momentum Meets Momentum
Andy Murray has played a lot of tennis since last Saturday. He has also won every match. Murray is fresh off of his first ever clay court title. It now seems he cannot get enough of the red stuff. Kei Nishikori won Barcelona and then had a week off prior to Madrid. Kei is playing quite well and his record in Spain across 2014 and 2015 is exemplary. Murray won his quarter final match in straight sets. So too did Nishikori. Both players enter this match with confidence and a fresh enough set of legs for a strong effort.
How to get any insight?
Their head-to-head record is not much help. Nishikori won their most recent match last fall on an indoor court in London when Murray was struggling mightily. Indoor courts don’t often give insights into clay court results. Murray won the other three matches between the two, but all three matches were held on hard courts prior to Nishikori’s move into the top 10. That leaves the eye ball test. Nishikori looks to be playing awesome tennis. The one problem he may have is that Murray’s serve is more formidable than David Ferrer’s, but Murray’s return game is just as solid as Ferrer’s. I think Nishikori looked better in the quarterfinal round than anyone in the Madrid draw. However, he was able to break Ferrer with an ease that likely won’t come versus Murray. So I am at a loss, but my hunch is Nishikori wins in a classic match due to better court positioning.
My Prediction: Kei Nishikori d. Andy Murray 6-4, 3-6, 7-5