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Anderson vs Nishikori ATP Paris live streaming, preview and tips - Nishikori hopes to keep London bid alive in Vienna rematch with Anderson

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 1 Nov 2018
  • Kevin Anderson vs Kei Nishikori is live from Paris around 9.00pm local time on Thursday (8.00pm GMT)
  • Nishikori leads their head-to-head 4-3, but Anderson has won their last two encounters
Kei Nishikori (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Kei Nishikori continues his attempt to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals when he takes on World No. 6 Kevin Anderson for a spot in the Rolex Paris Masters quarter-finals on Thursday night.

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Needing to reach at least the semi-finals in order to have a chance at qualifying for the season-ending ATP Finals in London, Kei Nishikori faces Kevin Anderson - who has already secured his spot and defeated him in the Vienna final last week - in the Rolex Paris Masters Round of 16 on Thursday night.

However, while Nishikori does have to make the semi-finals to officially have a chance at qualification, unofficially, he might actually be okay in his current position of ninth. With Juan Martin del Potro almost certainly set to withdraw with a fractured kneecap and Rafael Nadal under some doubt after pulling out of Paris with an abdominal injury, ninth spot in the ATP Race to London could be good enough for Nishikori - although he certainly won’t be leaving that to chance, especially with John Isner breathing down his neck in 10th, with the American needing to make the final himself to give himself the best opportunity to seal a debut appearance at the year-end championships.

At the end of the day, there’s multiple possible scenarios that could play out, but Nishikori will only want to control his own destiny, and if he keeps winning, the ticket to London will be his regardless. The Japanese star is trying to make it past the Round of 16 in Paris for just the second time, with his best result at the tournament coming back during his career-best year in 2014 when he beat Tommy Robredo, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and David Ferrer to make the semi-finals before going down to Novak Djokovic. Nishikori got his campaign off to the perfect start on Wednesday, accounting for tricky Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 7-5 6-4 in his opening match.

Falling to as low as No. 39 this season after shutting down his 2017 campaign in August due to a wrist injury, Nishikori has put together a very solid resurgence to arrive in Paris at No. 11. The 28-year-old initially returned via the humble surroundings of the Challenger circuit at the start of the year and promptly won the Dallas Challenger before making his way back onto the ATP World Tour, reaching the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters final with top five wins over Marin Cilic and Alexander Zverev before going down to Rafael Nadal, while he was also a quarter-finalist in Rome and made the fourth round of the French Open, losing in four sets to Dominic Thiem. Nishikori would go on to make his first Wimbledon quarter-final (falling in four sets to eventual champion Djokovic) before advancing to his first Grand Slam semi-final since 2016 at the U.S. Open, avenging his 2014 final loss to Cilic - but Djokovic proved too strong again in the final four.

Still without an ATP World Tour title since February 2016, Nishikori has come agonisingly close over the last couple of months, reaching finals in Tokyo and Vienna - losing to Daniil Medvedev and Anderson respectively - while he also reached the semi-finals in Metz and the quarter-finals in Shanghai. Can the Japanese avenge last Sunday’s Vienna defeat to Anderson on Thursday night to keep his London bid alive?

Kevin Anderson (Photo by HANS PUNZ/AFP/Getty Images)
One of the most professional players on tour when it comes to getting the most out of his game and preparing meticulously for each and every match, Anderson has done an outstanding job of maintaining his spot inside the top 10 for the last 12 months - an achievement which might not have seemed possible after he reached his maiden Grand Slam final at the U.S. Open last year. The South African had a bit of a letdown after New York and made little impact during Asia and the European indoor swing, and considering he had truckloads of points to defend when he returned to Flushing Meadows, Anderson would need big results elsewhere in order to remain in that elite bracket.


An opening round loss at the Australian Open to launch his 2018 season only fuelled belief that Anderson might be in for a difficult season, but the 32-year-old has been excellent ever since, registering a 45-16 record - highlighted by his stunning run to the Wimbledon final, where he came from two-sets-to-love down to beat Roger Federer and toppled John Isner in a six-and-a-half hour marathon before falling to Novak Djokovic and winning his biggest career title at the ATP 500 Erste Bank Open in Vienna last week. Anderson also made ATP Masters 1000 semi-finals in Canada and Madrid and quarter-finals in Indian Wells, Miami and Shanghai, while he also captured the New York Open title and finished runner-up at the ATP 500 event in Acapulco to Juan Martin del Potro in what has been a very consistent and high-quality 2018.

Up to No. 6 in the world and safely into the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time, Anderson is looking to reach the Paris Masters quarter-finals for the second time after doing so in 2014, beating Stan Wawrinka before falling to Tomas Berdych. The South African edged out Nikoloz Basilashvili for the second straight week in a deciding set tiebreak in his opening match on Wednesday.

Nishikori leads their head-to-head 4-3, but Anderson has won their last two matches, including the aforementioned Vienna final last week. Like a lot of matches in Paris this week, it’s a very tough one to pick. Anderson isn’t one of those players that is going to rest up knowing he’s secured his spot in London and will give everything he’s got on Thursday, while Nishikori has all the pressure on his shoulders with the knowledge he must win to keep his London chances in his own hands. Whatever happens, it promises to be a thrilling contest as the pair conclude Round of 16 action on Thursday night.


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Anderson vs Nishikori ATP Paris live streaming, preview and tips - Nishikori hopes to keep London bid alive in Vienna rematch with Anderson

Kei Nishikori continues his attempt to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals when he takes on World No. 6 Kevin Anderson for a spot in the Rolex Paris Masters quarter-finals on Thursday night.

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