Kafelnikov’s countryman, Mikhail Youzhny, will face Kei Nishikori of Japan in the second round of the Gerry Weber Open tomorrow.
This will be Nishikori’s first match in the tournament as he was given a bye in the opening round.
Youzhny made his way into the second round with the help of an easy win over Daniel Gimeno- Traver of Spain.
Nishikori who has been given 13th seed in this tournament has been in terrific form in the ongoing season so far. He started the season by taking part in the Brisbane International tennis tournament and he managed to cruise into the semi finals of that tournament. In the semi final match against Andy Murray, he had to retire due to his knee injury.
Nishikori’s performance in the Australian Open was decent as well. He made his way into the fourth round where he got defeated in straight sets by David Ferrer of Spain. In that match also, Nishikori was struggling with his knee injury and he took the help of the physiotherapist several times.
Nishikori then went on to win the US National Indoor Championships by securing a straight set win over Feliciano Lopez in the final. He didn’t lose a single set in that tournament.
Nishikori had a pretty good outing in the recently played French Open as well. He reached the fourth round at Roland Garros before being defeated by Rafael Nadal.
Nishikori has played a total of 28 matches this year and has won 22 out of them.
As far as Youzhny is concerned, he doesn’t have a great season so far. He has lost 13 out of the 26 matches in the ongoing season and that’s not a great record at all.
However, Youzhny is a very experienced player and he has versatility in his game. He doesn’t need a particular kind of surface to perform well. He is quite comfortable playing on any kind of surface.
These two players have never faced each other in the past which means that they would be unaware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. So, this might be a cracker of a contest.
The winner of this match will move into the quarter final round of the tournament.