Kei Nishikori bids for second Wimbledon quarter final
Kei Nishikori will today look to become the second Japanese player to make multiple Wimbledon quarter finals as he takes on fourth round debutant Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan.
Kimiko Date is currently the only Japanese player to have made more than one Wimbledon quarter, after she made the quarter finals of both the 1995 and 1996 women’s draws. 29 year old Nishikori will hope to join her, as he looks to at least match his 2018 tournament when he beat fellow fourth rounder Benoit Paire to reach the quarter final. That time he was crushed 6-1 6-1 6-3 by Nadal.
Having played eight times already, the player from Japan has a perfect record against Kukushkin, winning on all eight occasions. They have met once at Wimbledon already in 2012, when Nishikori sailed to a comfortable 7-5 6-3 6-4 win in the first round. In fact, across the eight matches the man from Matsue has only dropped two sets to his Kazakh opponent.
Playing at SW19 for the 11th year, Nishikori has stormed though in style so far. He has won all three of his matches in straight sets, beating qualifier Thiago Monteiro, Brit Cameron Norrie, and American Steve Johnson en route to the fourth round for the fourth time.
Mikhail Kukushkin is a big underdog going in against an opponent he has failed against so many times. He has only made the fourth round once at a Grand Slam, going back to 2012 at the Australian Open where he retired in a third set against Andy Murray when two sets down.
Bidding to become the first Kazakh male player to reach a quarter final at any Grand Slam, the 31 year old beat last year’s semi finalist John Isner in the second round across five gruelling sets. He also came through impressively against Germany’s Jan Lennard Struff in four sets to set up today’s tie.
Kei Nishikori (Japan)
ATP ranking: 7
Wimbledon seeding: 8
Career Wimbledon record: 20-9
Career Grand Slam record: 92-36
Career grass court record: 39-23
ATP ranking: 58
Wimbledon seeding: Unseeded
Career Wimbledon record: 8-7
Career Grand Slam record: 24-32
Career grass court record: 15-21
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