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Barcelona Open 2021: Cristian Garin vs Kei Nishikori preview, head-to-head & prediction

Cristian Garin
Cristian Garin
ANALYST
Modified 21 Apr 2021
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Match details

Fixture: (13) Cristian Garin vs Kei Nishikori

Date: 21 April 2021

Tournament: Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell 2021

Round: Second round (Round of 32)

Venue: Barcelona, Spain

Category: ATP 500

Surface: Red Clay

Prize money: €1,565,480

Match timing: Approx. 5 pm local time, 8.30 pm IST

Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video

Cristian Garin vs Kei Nishikori preview

The second round of the 2021 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell will see 13th seed Cristian Garin take on Kei Nishikori in an exciting matchup on Wednesday.

Garin has already won a title on clay this year, at his home event - the Chile Open. He will be keen on extending his run of good form with a strong showing in Barcelona.

Kei Nishikori
Kei Nishikori

Nishikori, meanwhile, has finally managed to overcome his slow start to the new season. He dropped his first three macthes of 2021, but has since amassesd a couple of quarterfinal finishes and wins over the likes of Felix Auger-Aliassime, Alex de Minaur and David Goffin.

The former World No. 4 has one of the best all-court games on tour, even after all his injury setbacks. And while his best results have historically come on hardcourts, he is more than capable of playing some solid tennis on clay too.

Cristian Garin vs Kei Nishikori head-to-head

Cristian Garin will be keen on continuing his run of good form in Barcelona.
Cristian Garin will be keen on continuing his run of good form in Barcelona.

Cristian Garin leads Kei Nishikori in the head-to-head with a slender 1-0 margin. The Chilean won his only prior meeting with Nishikori, at the Hamburg Open last year, in straight sets.

Cristian Garin vs Kei Nishikori prediction

This is a fairly well-balanced matchup, given the duo's somewhat similarly well-rounded games. Although Cristian Garin is the favorite on paper, he cannot afford to take his opponent lightly.

Kei Nishikori has already scored a couple of surprise wins this season, showing glimpses of his old self. That said, the Japanese has not been able to sustain his level for longer periods.

He now faces a tough challenge in Garin, especially since they are playing on clay - a surface where the Chilean is completely at home. Nishikori will need to make the best use of his groundstrokes and push his opponent out of his comfort zone, as a passive approach is unlikely to reap him any rewards.

Nishikori certainly has the weapons to do that, but he will need to find a way to maintain his level over the course of the match. He cannot afford any slip-ups against Garin, who has looked very solid in the few matches that he has played on clay this season.

Prediction: Cristian Garin to win in three sets.

Published 20 Apr 2021
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