The quarter-finals of the French Open brings with it an intriguing clash between the power of local hope Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and the relentless counter-punching of Japan’s Kei Nishikori. The pair have both strolled through the tournament so far with Nishikori yet to drop a set and Tsonga losing just one set in his impressive win over Tomas Berdych last start.
Very little separates these two but we lean towards Nishikori for a few reasons. He currently holds a 4-1 career record in matches against Tsonga and although all were on hard court, they tell an important story. Let’s not forget that although clay is by far the slowest of the four main surfaces used in modern day tennis, its closest replica is hard court.
We’re also concerned about Tsonga’s record in big matches. Having burst onto the scene in 2008 when he surged into the Australian Open final (falling at the last hurdle to Novak Djokovic), he has reached just three grand slam semi-finals and one quarter-final. By contrast, Nishikori is a player on the rise having reached the US Open final last year. We expect him to be well-equipped to combat Tsonga’s power.
|Jo-Wilfried Tsonga v Kei Nishikori
|Kei Nishikori WIN