Kei Nishikori vs Feliciano Lopez Tennis Prediction
Their H2H is tied at 3-3 (1-1 on clay), but Feliciano Lopez won their recent meeting in the R16 of Indian Wells in 2015. The condition of Nishikori’s wrist will have a significant say in the outcome of this result, as he is by far the better player at this moment.
Kei Nishikori News
Kei Nishikori, who was forced to retire from his opening round match against Guillermo Garica Lopez in Barcelona due to the wrist injury (for which he underwent surgery in 2017), returned to action in Madrid last week where he lost to the former world #1 Novak Djokovic in a closely fought two set encounter, 5-7 4-6.
The Japanese #1 posted his best result since making his comeback from the wrist injury when he finished as the runner-up to Rafael Nadal in the Monte Carlo Masters. In the run-up to the finals, he scored some big and impressive wins against the likes of Marin Cilic, Alexander Zverev, and Tomas Berdych.
Former world #4 Kei Nishikori has done reasonably well at Rome in his previous five appearances by making the semifinal once in 2016 and quarterfinal in 2015. Moreover, he never lost a first-round match in this tournament.
Feliciano Lopez News
Feliciano Lopez has entered three clay tournaments so far in 2018 and on all three occasions, he won the first round match but failed in the second round, at Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and Madrid.
The Spaniard has appeared here 14 times in the past with first-round exits being the most frequent result. He also lost his recent first-round matches to Kevin Anderson in 2016 and David Ferrer in 2017.
Though the former world #12 Feliciano Lopez is having a pretty average season so far in 2018 (11/10), only twice he suffered first-round defeats this season, against Jared Donaldson in Miami and Sam Querrey in the Australian Open.
Tennis Prediction: Kei Nishikori 2-0 SET