Hey all, sorry for the long silence! Was around from time to time but a bit busy after I came back from RG!
Hope Kei can win today! He said in a TV interview here that his goal is to win his first match, but he also hoped to play Federer in R3.
Yesterday Japanese tennis fans were treated with broadcast of Kei's match vs Rafa at Queen's. Although it was funny to listen to commentators speak as if they didn't know the result (lol) it was nice to see him on telly because tennis broadcast here is nonexistent apart from slams.
Gicquel I think is not an easy opponent. He's just reached the finals in Den Bosch, meaning he's no slouch on grass. He's also the kind of player who can expose and explote weaknesses of a young and inexperienced player... That said, if Kei is fit again, his FH, movement and deception will surprised the Frenchman for sure. Good luck to Kei!!
Anyway, here's what Nick Bolletieri wrote about Kei's first match in his blog:
Kei Nishikori (JPN) vs. Marc Gicquel (FRA)
Nishikori has had one of the best debuts years of anyone in recent memory. He won a tournament in Delray Beach, and has shown time and time again that he is a very bright future. He recently lost to Nadal in three sets at Queen’s Club, and afterwards Nadal said that he thought Nishikori was top 10 material for sure. That is quite some praise for an 18-year old.
Gicquel is a veteran Frenchman, who checks in at #60 in the world. He has an 8-12 record on the year and did win a Challenger title back in February. In his only other Wimbledon appearance (2007), he lost in the first round to Jan Hernych.
This will be the first meeting between Nishikori and Gicquel. Nishikori has trained at the Academy for numerous years now, and has really come a long way. His movement is unbelievable and is really the key to his success. He has a great forehand, a very solid backhand and his serve is getting better and better. Nishikori will need to force the action a bit in this match. Gicquel is solid from both sides, and has years of experience to fall back on. Nishikori has a slight abdominal injury, and if that affects his movement at all that could be a problem. From what we hear he is feeling good, and with that being said I give him the edge.
Nick’s Pick - Nishikori in 4 sets