Nishikori Faces Bautista Agut In Barcelona Quarters

Barcelona Open

Tennis
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Published: 23/04/2015

Reigning Barcelona Open champion Kei Nishikori is the current 5/4 favourite (betfred, boylesports) to take home this season`s renewal of the tournament after eight-time ATP Barcelona winner Rafael Nadal exited at the hands of Fabio Bognini in the third round. To progress through to the final four and take a step nearer to his aim of success in Spain, Nishikori will have to claim victory in his quarter-final against one of the four home hopes remaining in the competition, that being Roberto Bautista Agut. This match is slated to take place tomorrow morning.

Unlike Nishikori, who was the first non-Spanish player to take home the tournament title since 2002 last year, Bautista Agut has never made it to the Barcelona Open final. He made his competition debut last year and bit the dust in the second round following his first stage straight sets victory over Poland`s Lukasz Kubot (6-1, 6-0). The man who would see the 27-year-old on his way was none other than Nishikori, the only time the two men have faced off in an ATP competition.

The then fourth seed (seed number one this time around), Nishikori only dropped one game in the first set against the man seeded seventh this year. Bautista Agut would fight back to claim the second set by six games to four, Nishikori being sent to a third set for the only time on the way to the championship title. The Japanese player would claim the final set by six games to three.

Ladbrokes have the best price on the two men needing to be separated by a third set once again, this price being 9/4. Whilst william hill`s 17/5 says that Nishikori will run out the winner of a three set match, all of 32red, 888sport and unibet have 8/1 on Bautista Agut finding his hand lifted after three sets. paddy Power have 4/1 on the two men being split by exactly four games once again.

Indeed it is the number one seed who is the favourite to secure a win by any means tomorrow. Near enough all the major bookmaking establishments have the best price of 1/5 on Nishikori getting the better of Bautista Agut. Conversely, the Castellon de la Plana born star can be backed at the best price of 18/5 at Betvictor to progress through to the final four with a victory over the reigning champion.

This match`s victor will contest a semi-final against either ninth seed Tommy Robredo, the winner of this tournament back in 2004, or Slovakia`s Martin Klizan. The Robredo/ Klizan clash will take place following the encounter between Nishikori and Bautista Agut.

Tomorrow`s favourite is yet to drop a set in this year`s renewal, taking down Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili in the competition`s second stage (6-3, 6-4) before seeing off Ecuadorian Santiago Giraldo in a repeat of last season`s final. The Shimane-born star only conceded three games in the entirety of the clash this time around taking the first set 6-2 and the second 6-1.

This year`s Memphis Open winner can be picked up at 11/17 (888sport, unibet) to earn himself his third consecutive straight sets victory whilst 9/1 (betfair, boylesports) says that Bautista Agut will progress without dropping a set. Such a victory would also be the third successive one of its kind for the Spaniard following his second round win over Thomaz Bellucci (6-3, 6-4) and his third stage success against Pablo Cuevas (7-6, 6-2).

Betfair have 31/20 on a tie-break occurring at any time during this clash following one appearing in the first set between Bautista Agut and Cuevas. Coral have 9/2 on this once again appearing in the first set with the same price on one appearing in the second.

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