Roland Garros: Kei Nishikori vs Stefano Travaglia preview, head-to-head & prediction | French Open 2020

Kei Nishikori
Kei Nishikori
Rudra Biswas
Modified 30 Sep 2020

Match details

Fixture: Kei Nishikori vs Stefano Travaglia

Date: 30 September 2020

Tournament: Roland Garros 2020

Round: Second Round (Round of 64)

Venue: Paris, France

Category: Grand Slam

Surface: Red clay

Prize money: Approx. €38,000,000

Match timing: Approx. 3 pm CEST, 6.30 pm IST

Live telecast: USA - NBC Sport / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP

Also check out: The Complete French Open 2020 Results

Kei Nishikori vs Stefano Travaglia preview

Kei Nishikori at 2020 French Open
Kei Nishikori at 2020 French Open

Former World No. 4 Kei Nishikori is playing his first Major event in more than a year, after undergoing elbow surgery at the end of 2019.

Forced to sit out of the 2020 US Open due to a positive COVID-19 test, Nishikori had entered the European clay swing with high hopes. However, the Japanese suffered a couple of disappointing defeats in the lead-up to the French Open - to tour debutant Lorenzo Musetti in Rome and Chile's Cristian Garin in Hamburg.

Nishikori had been a top player for several years prior to the career-threatening elbow injury, having reached the quarterfinals or higher at four of his last five Grand Slam outings. He showed glimpses of that skill while battling past Britain's Dan Evans in five sets at Roland Garros on Sunday.

The World No. 35 was playing only his fifth match of the season, and was clearly underprepared as he was thrashed 6-1 in the first set. But he didn't let the early setback derail his game, and eventually regained his composure to get the win.

His next opponent will be Italy's Stefano Travaglia, who has had a good year so far. Despite having been mostly a Challenger level player for most of his career, the World No. 74 defeated Croatia's Borna Coric at the Rome Masters en route to reaching the Round of 16.

Travaglia has continued his good run of form in Paris, registering a straight-sets win over claycourt veteran Pablo Andujar in the first round.

Kei Nishikori vs Stefano Travaglia head-to-head

The first-round match in Paris will be the first-ever career meeting between Kei Nishikori and Stefano Travaglia, so the head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.

Kei Nishikori vs Stefano Travaglia prediction

Stefano Travaglia
Stefano Travaglia

Kei Nishikori is an aggressive baseliner, and can play comfortably from both the deep end of the court and inside the baseline. The Japanese has solid groundstrokes off both wings, and has the ability to hit with consistent and accurate power when he is not rushing. The only major flaw in Nishikori's game is his serve.

Stefano Travaglia has a powerful playing style himself, albeit a very inconsistent one. The Italian has big groundstrokes and moves well for someone of his size, but is prone to leaking unforced errors when put under pressure.

If Nishikori is steady from the baseline, he would have a great shot of reaching the third round.

Prediction: Kei Nishikori to win in straight sets.

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Published 29 Sep 2020
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