Kei Nishikori has all the tools to become a Grand Slam champion, but he keeps sputtering whenever it seems like a title is his for the taking. The Japanese No. 1 now has another shot at Wimbledon, the only Grand Slam, in which he hasn’t reached at least the quarterfinals. He has a tough task ahead of him in Frenchman Julien Benneteau coming off his own straight sets victory in the first round.
For more on Wimbledon action, check out our complete previews for Grigor Dimitrov vs. Gilles Simon and Andy Murray vs. Liam Brody.
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Kei Nishikori vs. Julien Benneteau Preview
Where: All England Club – London, England
When: Wednesday, June 29, 2016, 4:00 AM ET
Line: Kei Nishikori (-1,500) vs. Julien Benneteau (+800) – view all 2016 Wimbledon Men’s Singles lines
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Betting on Kei Nishikori (-1,500)
Kei Nishikori wasted no time in dismantling Australian Sam Groth in the first round of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships. He racked up 31 winners as he cruised to a straight sets victory. It didn’t come without a price, though, as the Japanese ace needed his ribs to be examined by a physician after the second set. There might just be enough wear and tear to hinder Nishikori’s attempt at a deep tournament run.
Nishikori has won three of his four career matchups against Benneteau, all on hard court.
Betting on Julien Benneteau (+800)
Julien Benneteau is coming off a straight sets victory over Illya Marchenko. He was dominant in the match, winning 69 percent of his first serve points, while racking up 33 winners to just 14 unforced errors. A Benneteau firing on all cylinders could be a big threat to Kei Nishikori, who’s nursing a rib injury of some form in Wimbledon.
The Frenchman has very aggressive at the net with 25 points won in his first round matchup. Showing this kind of aggressiveness should help him force Nishikori to move all around the court—something that could cause the Japanese’s rib injury to flare out.
Nevertheless, Benneteau isn’t too athletic or young enough to handle someone of Nishikori’s caliber. The Frenchman’s only hope in this match is to limit his unforced errors and force his opponent to chase after his shots.
Nishikori (-1,500) looks a little worse for wear, but takes a hard-fought four-set victory.
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