ATP Barcelona Open 2021: Rafael Nadal vs Kei Nishikori – Preview, Head to Head and Prediction

Rafael Nadal and Kei Nishikori will clash against each other in the third round of the Barcelona Open 2021.

Rafael Nadal vs Kei Nishikori
Rafael Nadal vs Kei Nishikori

Rafael Nadal vs Kei Nishikori: Rafael Nadal, top seed at the Barcelona Open 2021 will face Kei Nishikori in the third round clash. The Spaniard is ranked third in the world, whereas, the Japanese is ranked 39th in the ATP Rankings.

Match Details

  • Tournament: ATP Barcelona Open 2021
  • Match: Rafael Nadal vs Kei Nishikori
  • Round: Third round 
  • Date: 22nd April, 2021
  • Prize Money: €24,900
  • Venue: Barcelona, Spain
  • Surface: Clay Court

Rafael Nadal vs Kei Nishikori: Match Preview

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal received a bye in the first round by virtue of being the top seed. The Spaniard had to grind out a three set victory against Ilya Ivashka in the second round. Nadal’s service game has been way off the radar in the past few matches, as he managed to get a first serve accuracy of just 62%. He last played at the Monte Carlo Masters, where he suffered a shocking quarterfinal loss to Andrey Rublev in three sets.

Kei Nishikori defeated Guido Pella in the first round clash. The Japanese had to come back from a set down to progress further into the tournament. Nishikori overcame Cristian Garin in the next round, in another three sets victory. The US Open 2014 runner-up held his nerve in the third set and dominated the Chilean to progress into the last 16.

Rafael Nadal vs Kei Nishikori: Head-to-Head

Kei Nishikori 4 - FirstSportz
Kei Nishikori

The duo have clashed against each other on 13 occasions, with Rafael Nadal dominating the Japanese. The Spaniard leads the head to head record, 11-2. They last faced off against each other at the Monte Carlo Masters 2018, where Nadal won in straight sets. The duo also clashed in the finals of the Barcelona Open in 2016, where Nadal won in straight sets.

Rafael Nadal vs Kei Nishikori: Match Prediction

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal to progress into the semifinals

Rafael Nadal is chasing his 12th title in Barcelona this year, and he is one of the top contenders to claim the title later this week. Nadal has not been at his best in the past couple of matches, with his service games being way off the mark. Moreover, the Spaniard has served plenty of double faults which has affected his game. However, the 20 time Grandslam champion always finds a way to win matches, and he is expected to defeat his old foe, Kei Nishikori in straight sets.

Match Prediction: Rafael Nadal to win in straight sets

Also Read: ATP Barcelona Open 2021: Felix Auger Aliassime vs Denis Shapovalov – Preview, Head to Head and Prediction