(4) Kei Nishikori vs. Benoit Paire
The U.S. Open had not been kind to Nishikori. Then last year happened. Nishikori enjoyed somewhat of a breakout by reaching the fourth round in 2008, but none of his five other results in his first six trips to New York was anything better than a third-round showing and he fell in the first round twice in addition to a qualifying loss. In 2014, though, Nishikori made his slam final debut (lost to Marin Cilic) after stunning Novak Djokovic in the semis.
The world No. 4’s bid for a repeat trip to championship weekend will begin with a third career showdown against Paire. Both of their previous encounters have gone Nishikori’s way…
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