Australian Open 2016: Novak Djokovic vs. Kei Nishikori Quarterfinal Prediction

Cooler Evening Conditions Should Help Nole

Can Kei Derail Nole Again?

[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs [7] Kei Nishikori (JPN)

I have some friends who are Djokovic fans and who worry about leg weariness after his 5 set battle with Gilles Simon.  I think this being an evening match is a major plus for Novak.  The extreme heat at the 2013 US Open seemed to sap Novak as he fell to Kei Nishikori in 4 sets.  I do not expect that to happen again.  Novak has had a day to rest and will be playing in cooler conditions.  I think his 2013 loss to Nishikori also has Novak keenly aware of how well he will need to play after an error filled round of 16 victory.

For Nishikori to win, he will need to take care of his own serve and minimize the impact of Novak’s return of serve.  He will also have to return well and put pressure on Novak’s serve.  Kei has an incredible return game so this is likely easier than minimizing Novak’s return.  Finally, Kei will need to rob Nole of time by taking the ball early and not being pushed backward during rallies.  I think Kei could do all 3 of these things, but he has 3 things to do to win.  Novak has to be Novak to win.  I prefer the more simple path to victory.

My Prediction: Novak Djokovic d. Kei Nishikori 7-5, 6-3, 7-5





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