Tennis bet of the day | Back Anderson to beat Kei Nishikori by 2.5 games or more

Hannah Wilks in Tips 12 Nov 2018
  • Tennis bet of the day for Tuesday 13 November
  • Back Kevin Anderson to beat Kei Nishikori by a margin of 2.5 games or more
  • Anderson vs Nishikori is live from the ATP Finals on Tuesday 13 November at 2pm GMT
Kevin Anderson (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Our best tennis bet of the day for Tuesday 13 November: Back Kevin Anderson to beat Kei Nishikori in their round-robin match at the Nitto ATP Finals with a -2.5 game handicap.


After both players were victorious on the opening day of the Nitto ATP Finals, Anderson and Nishikori face off to see who will go top of Group Guga Kuerten on Tuesday - but who is the man to back?

Nishikori certainly put the cat among the pigeons with his 7-6(4), 6-3 defeat of Roger Federer, the six-time champion and the favourite - along with Novak Djokovic, the five-time champion - to make the final and restore the 'Big Four' hegemony that Grigor Dimitrov, unrepeatably, won 12 months ago. And he is the favourite to beat Anderson when the two face off tomorrow, with odds of 4/6 @ bet365 to get the win.

There are a few good reasons for that. The Japanese player has made the semifinals on two of his three appearances at the Nitto ATP Finals, whereas Anderson is making his debut among the elite eight. Also, Nishikori has a clear 6-3 lead in the head-to-head against Anderson, and won their most recent encounter at the Rolex Paris Masters two weeks ago, beating Anderson 6-4, 6-4. Nishikori is also on a strong run of form, with a difficult start to the year - he ended his 2017 season early and ended up absent from the courts for six months with a wrist injury before returning at Challenger level in January - giving way to some very good results since the midway point of 2018: He made a rare Wimbledon quarterfinal, reached the semifinals of the US Open and went on to finish runner-up in Tokyo and Vienna, even if he couldn't end what is now a nine-match losing streak in ATP World Tour finals.

Nishikori still needed help from Juan Martin del Potro, who withdrew due to injury, to qualify for London, however, and while he played a decent match against Federer, I genuinely believe that match was about Federer's errors - all 34 of them, and that count was generous; on commentary, Robbie Koenig observed accurately that Federer's forehand had all the control of 'an unattended garden hose' - and not sustained brilliance from Nishikori. The Japanese player certainly had his moments - the fantastic pick-up bunt down the line he managed late in the first set, which turned it in his favour - but his serve continues to be underwhelming, and it was Federer's failing that he couldn't make more inroads on it. 

And Nishikori's serve is going to hurt him against Anderson. In this match-up, against a huge server like Anderson in indoor conditions which flatter his delivery so nicely, it's imperative that you hold your own serve because chances to break are going to be few and far between, and therefore you can't rely on getting the chance to retrieve that break (in the way that Nishikori retrieved the break he surrendered at the beginning of the second set against Federer). Take Dominic Thiem as an example: The Austrian couldn't create a single break point chance on Anderson's serve on Sunday, while Anderson created seven on Thiem's. Anderson should be able to make even more inroads on the Nishikori serve on Tuesday, because it is underwhelming and Anderson's ground game has improved so much this season.

While Nishikori does have a 6-3 head-to-head against Anderson and won their last encounter in Paris, that match came just days after Anderson had beaten Nishikori 6-3, 7-6(3) in the Vienna final. In 2018, two of the three matches they have played against each other - all on indoor hard courts - have gone Anderson's way. The South African looks so excited to be at the Nitto ATP Finals, buoyed by making his debut, and energized by being part of this 'elite eight'; and I think Nishikori is being overestimated. It should be a tight match, maybe one break of serve in each set, and at least one tie-break; but it could well be a win for Anderson, albeit a narrow one.


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Tennis bet of the day | Back Anderson to beat Kei Nishikori by 2.5 games or more

Our best tennis bet of the day for Tuesday 13 November: Back Kevin Anderson to beat Kei Nishikori in their round-robin match at the Nitto ATP Finals with a -2.5 game handicap

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