U.S. Open R1 previews and picks: Nishikori vs. Paire, Dolgopolov vs. Groth

The Grandstand

KeiKei Nishikori and Alexandr Dolgopolov will contest what appear to be two tough first-round matches on Monday at the U.S. Open. They are going up against Benoit Paire and Sam Groth, respectively.

(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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