Three-time champion Novak Djokovic and Japan’s Kei Nishikori will square off for a place in the semifinals at SW19.
Kei Nishikori, after his fourth round victory over Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis, became the first Japanese since Shuzo Matsuoka in 1995 to reach the quarterfinals. Can he go a step better with a win against a resurgent Djokovic?
Both players have faced each other 15 times with Djokovic prevailing in 13 matches. Those 13 victories were consecutive!
Nishikori has acknowledged his record against the Serb is poor, but has said he’ll be looking forward to the match.
“Maybe I don’t have a good result, a good record with him, but I always enjoy playing him,” the 24th seed said. “He’s one of the best players on the tour.
“I think it’s going to be a new match for both of us. We will try to compete and enjoy.”
Djokovic, though, has lost his last three Grand Slam quarterfinal matches, but his performances at SW19 has been remarkable!
Straight sets victory over Tennys Sandgren and Horacio Zeballos in the first and second rounds, respectively. Before battling past a hostile crowd and a fierce Kyle Edmund in four sets in the third round. He then dispatched Russian sensation, Karen Khachanov to reach the last eight. This is turning out to be his best outing since his return from a long-term injury.
Given his superior records against the 28-year-old Nishikori, it’s hard not to see him making the semifinals. Nishikori, however, can be really difficult to play against on his day. Interestingly, Djokovic has never played him on grass. So, this will be a different game entirely.
“I don’t know if we never played on grass,” Nishikori, the 2014 US Open finalist said. “I think it’s going to be a new game for us.”
Can the Japanese bring his 13-match losing streak against Djokovic to an end? Or will the super Serb continue his journey back to the very top?
This match is live on Centre Court at the All England Club, London, today from 1pm WAT.