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In the poll here on MTF and at the bookies, Nishikori is a much bigger favourite than Berdych. But why?
Both are in similar form, but Berdych had a much better year so far and has proven to do well here, unlike Nishikori. I really don't understand that. For me they are equal favourites, with maybe Berdych with slightly better odds.
 

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because Birdshit is proven mug against Big 3 while Nishikori still is in the process.
 

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Berdych is the new bagel man of the ATP... he eats bagels when it gets hot in the kitchen
 

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I think it's the expectation that should they meet, Nishikori has owned Berdych in the H2H department (2 years back, when Nishikori was still in development), and that Berdych has spent so many years fighting the big guys unsuccessfully it's become a common theme. Also Berdych lost to Gulbis of all people (even though Gulbis was having a streak, to lose in straights is embarrassing). The biggest issue is Berdych's predictability and movement. Even Fognini gave him a lot of trouble in Rome and Berdych's failure to have any impact of Federer in Rome...
 

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Both are 9-3 on clay...
ACTUALLY they're two of a kind for me. I see them BOTH finishing their careers as SUPREME NEARLY MEN. Good but not quite good enough. Both without a SLAM to their name.
 

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Berdych = pigeon.

That is why
 

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ACTUALLY they're two of a kind for me. I see them BOTH finishing their careers as SUPREME NEARLY MEN. Good but not quite good enough. Both without a SLAM to their name.
Where does Benneteau rank on this list of nearly men?
 

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Main reason why people think so is the fact that Nishi is much more dangerous for BIF4 than Berdych.
 

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The purist line of thinking is that a big server can't win RG.
Those skills are better suited elsewhere.
Nishikori might have great retrieving abilities, but he aint winning it.
 

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I think Berdych just has a much longer track record of failure at the big events, whereas with Nishikori a case could be made that he is still improving. Nishikori has beaten Djokovic at a GS, and looked set to beat Rafa on clay in Madrid 2014 before his injury. Berdych just got destroyed by the 2015 version of Rafa in Madrid.
 

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It's partly an exposure thing. Berdych's level is very well understood, he's played a huge amount of matches over the years. Nishikori is (apparently) still improving, so there's a wider gap of uncertainty around his potential level, and the bookie/market reaction to that is to give slightly worse odds than they would otherwise.

If anyone's interested, it's all packaged up together in the favourite-longshot bias.
 

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Because Nishikori proved when he beat Djokovic at US Open semis that he can beat the top guys (and the world #1 of all players) in the big stage, or at least that's the impression it gave to many people. Though admittedly, he's been disappointing this year in that department. Also, I believe Nishikori used to hold a positive H2H against Djokovic and Federer for some time, or at least neutral.

On the other hand, Berdych is known for having failed in the QFs and SFs of multiple slams so consistently, and not necessarily against the big 3/4.
 

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The fact RG is the most physically demanding tournament should be an advantage for Berdych when compared to Nishikori, but apparently that isn't a (big) factor...
 

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Both are 9-3 on clay...
On clay in 2015 according to ATP website match stats Berdych has 84% hold and 20% break, combined 104%. Nishikori has held 85% and broken 33%, combined 118%. Means Nishikori has done a better job on the surface this year and deserves to be priced ahead of Berdych. Interestingly Nishikori holds more with a much less potent serve which also adds up to him being a better player on clay atm.
 
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