Fixture: Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Yoshihito Nishioka
Date: 23 October 2020
Tournament: Bett1Hulks Championship 2020
Venue: Cologne, Germany
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: €325,610
Match timing: Approx 8 pm CEST, 11.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Yoshihito Nishioka preview
Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime will take on Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in the quarterfinals of the 2020 bett1Hulks Championship in Cologne on Friday.
It is a minor miracle that Auger-Aliassime has made it this far, given that he was on the brink against Egor Gerasimov in the second round. The Belarusian served for the match in the second set but couldn’t close it out.
The Canadian took the second set on a tiebreak and then raced to a 5-3 lead in the third. At 5-4, Auger-Aliassime had three match-points at 40-0, but he got broken against the run of play.
The fifth seed was once again forced to dig deep in the tiebreak to stay alive in Cologne.
Having made the final at the Cologne 1 event last week, Auger-Aliassime came into this tournament with a lot of expectations. But it remains to be seen whether he recovers physically after spending close to three hours on court against Gerasimov.
Meanwhile Yoshihito Nishioka came back from a dismal opening set performance on Thursday to upset the higher-ranked Jan-Lennard Struff. The 25-year-old upped his game by several notches in the third-set tiebreaker to shut the door on the home favorite.
This tournament is Nishioka’s first since the French Open, and he has displayed some impressive tennis when put under pressure. In his opening match he overcame Kyle Edmund 6-4, 6-0 despite facing a whopping 14 break points.
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Yoshihito Nishioka head-to-head
Yoshihito Nishioka leads Felix Auger-Aliassime 2-0 in the head-to-head.
This will be their second encounter in the space of a month; they had also squared off in the opening round at the French Open, where Nishioka won in straight sets.
Their other match was on the hardcourts of Indian Wells last year, which the Japanese won in three tight sets.
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Yoshihito Nishioka prediction
Yoshihito Nishioka has been a bit of a bogeyman opponent for Felix Auger-Aliassime right since his Challenger days.
Auger-Aliassime likes to go big from the baseline and use his forehand to close out points early. But that is tough to do against Nishioka, who is extremely quick and knows how to redirect pace. The Japanese also has a strong two-handed backhand which can leave his opponents guessing.
The nature of this match-up coupled with past results suggests that Nishioka may have the edge. That said, Auger-Aliassime has been playing some good tennis lately, and he would be especially motivated to correct his record against Nishioka.
Prediction: Felix Auger-Aliassime to win in three sets.Published 23 Oct 2020, 03:02 IST