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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of the best matches I've ever seen Nishikori play.

Every single Nishikori shot was measured. Rublev had no answers.

Every shot had purpose, depth, weight, or power and direction... and that with virtually no unforced errors.

Then add elite returning and good serving, and you have a masterclass.

4 unreturned serves to close it out to add insult to injury.

Of course, Kei is just playing cock-block here to mess up another draw, but it's not exactly his fault, the draw is just bad. Making the QF won't be above him like it was for Fucsovics at WB.
 

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Kei seems to do well when playing for his country. This was a good match, and remember that he won the Bronze Medal at the 2016 Olympics (beating Nadal relatively comfortably) and pushed Murray to 5 sets at the Davis Cup during arguably Andy's career-best year. Add to that the motivation of playing in his home country and he could do some damage. He also has wins over Ferrer, Raonic and Monfils (back when they were all top 10) at either Olympics/Davis Cup.

On the other hand of course Nishikori hasn't been the player he was for some time, so he could just as easily lose his next match in straights but he's one to watch at least.
 

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That was unequivocally Kei's best match of an otherwise mediocre season. I have struggled to watch his matches as he tends to play great in intervals and then inevitably lose focus and control. Today, apart from minor blips he was playing within himself and handled Rublev's power really well. He seemed to know what he wanted to do with his shots and executed without hesitation. Rublev couldn't overpower Kei in FH-FH exchanges either. Very clean match too from Kei's POV. Rublev's formulaic hitting was countered very well by Nishikori's own brand of court spanking.

 

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I'd like to say I'm surprised that a healthy motivated Nishikori just thrashed a steady top 10 player in Rublev, but I'm not. More evidence we're in a weak era currently.

That was probably the best I've seen Nishikori play in 3+ years, though. QF should be a virtual lock given the level he produced today and his draw going forward. And if it wasn't for Djokovic being in that section, I'd tip him to go even further than that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'd like to say I'm surprised that a healthy motivated Nishikori just thrashed a steady top 10 player in Rublev, but I'm not. More evidence we're in a weak evidence currently.

That was probably the best I've seen Nishikori play in 3+ years, though. QF should be a virtual lock given the level he produced today and his draw going forward. And if it wasn't for Djokovic being in that section, I'd tip him to go even further than that.
For any Kei, this would be a stand-out performance.

Was one of his best matches ever, easily.

Obvious for you to make some kind of stupid observation out of it.
 

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For any Kei, this would be a stand-out performance.

Was one of his best matches ever, easily.

Obvious for you to make some kind of stupid observation out of it.
One of his best matches ever? Maybe if you only started watching tennis in the past few years and don't recall what Nishikori was in the early part of last decade.

Nishikori has beaten much better players than Rublev and on even bigger stages than this (including 2 GOAT candidates at a slam SF and a Olympic medal match).
 

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Is Nishikori in form... Was dialed in today. Depth, precision and power, and a clear game plan to pressure Rublev's BH, which did hold up quite well at first but started to leak more in the end. Rublev never got to find his rhythm on the FH side and ended up producing quite a few errors from there. Nishikori's 1st serve was AWOL in the 1st set (54%; 1st serve points won 58%), but the ground strokes did get him the set. The 2nd set then was sth else. 1st serve 100% (84% points won). Otsukaresama, onwards...
 

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Kei seems to do well when playing for his country. This was a good match, and remember that he won the Bronze Medal at the 2016 Olympics (beating Nadal relatively comfortably) and pushed Murray to 5 sets at the Davis Cup during arguably Andy's career-best year. Add to that the motivation of playing in his home country and he could do some damage. He also has wins over Ferrer, Raonic and Monfils (back when they were all top 10) at either Olympics/Davis Cup.

On the other hand of course Nishikori hasn't been the player he was for some time, so he could just as easily lose his next match in straights but he's one to watch at least.
Yeah, playing for his country while also doing it in Tokyo where he has a great track record (two tourney wins, one final) is clearly giving him such extra juice this week.
 

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I'd like to say I'm surprised that a healthy motivated Nishikori just thrashed a steady top 10 player in Rublev, but I'm not. More evidence we're in a weak evidence currently.

That was probably the best I've seen Nishikori play in 3+ years, though. QF should be a virtual lock given the level he produced today and his draw going forward. And if it wasn't for Djokovic being in that section, I'd tip him to go even further than that.
Rublev not quite the same since Monte Carlo though. He looked drunk to me during the opening ceremony, that's how lightly he took that tournament.
 

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Rublev not quite the same since Monte Carlo though. He looked drunk to me during the opening ceremony, that's how lightly he took that tournament.
He hasn't been great for a while, but that isn't the story of the match for me. Nishikori's play was. Don't think Rublev has the style of game to really deal with what Nishikori was throwing at him offensively today (but few do).
 

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He hasn't been great for a while, but that isn't the story of the match for me. Nishikori's play was. Don't think Rublev has the style of game to really deal with what Nishikori was throwing at him offensively today (but few do).
Rublev has this bad habit to fade away when it gets tough, if he can dominate the rallies ok for him but against someone like Nishikori playing well who can dictate he is in trouble indeed and easily gets frustrated.

In the Halle final it was very similar against a playing well Humbert.
 
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