Tokyo Olympics Men’s Quarterfinal Predictions Including Kei Nishikori vs Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic Olympics Tokyo 2020 Backhand

We have reached the men’s quarterfinal stage at the Tokyo Olympics. Only eight athletes remain in contention to win the medals. We have some blockbuster quarterfinal matches ahead of us, including a battle between Novak Djokovic and home star Kei Nishikori. As always, our writers offer their thoughts on all four matches. Who do you think will win? Predicting these matches are Jim Smith, Anurag Sahay, and Yesh Ginsburg.

Tokyo Olympics Men’s Quarterfinal Predictions

Alexander Zverev vs Jeremy Chardy

Jim:
It has been a great run from Jeremy Chardy, but it will surely end here. The Frenchman’s forehand remains a weapon to be feared, but his backhand will almost certainly be exposed in the cross-court exchanges. Zverev did lose focus briefly in the third round against Nikoloz Basilashvili, but he still closed the Georgian out in straight sets. Expect him to do the same to Chardy.
Prediction: Zverev in 2

Anurag:
Zverev is easily the better player with a more comprehensive game. That said, he is yet to be challenged in Tokyo, thanks to a relatively kind draw. Arguably, the German’s test begins with the quarterfinal against an inspired Chardy, who beat Russian sensation Aslan Karatsev and the lone British hope, Liam Broady. However, Zverev is ranked significantly higher, leads their head-to-head, and is also very consistent. Factoring that in, there is little doubt he is coming out the winner.
Prediction: Zverev in 2

Yesh:
Zverev has faced no trouble in this tournament so far, thanks to a very easy draw. Chardy has battled adversity to get this far. The Frenchman will care more about the Olympics and this match, while Zverev has not had to get through any pressure in a big moment. Last time he had such an opportunity, he wilted in the 2020 US Open final. I don’t know whether it will happen in this round or the next, but Zverev will wilt again.
Prediction: Chardy in 3

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Karen Khachanov vs Ugo Humbert

Jim:
This match may be short of star wattage in comparison to the other three quarterfinals, but it should also be the most competitive. Indeed, there looks to be as little between them on the court as there is in the rankings. But Khachanov’s game is perhaps slightly better suited to the conditions in Tokyo, with the Russian getting plenty of reward for his power, both from the line and off the ground. He should have just about enough to edge out Humbert.
Prediction: Khachanov in 3

Anurag:
What a way for the Frenchman to ace the grass season and follow it up with a maiden Olympics appearance. Humbert thrives on quick surfaces, both hard and grass. He has had a phenomenal year on those surfaces, breaking new ground in the mid-year grass season. Back to the hard courts, the Frenchman is enjoying the tennis and is only happier to represent his nation at his maiden Olympics.

Khachanov had a wobbly first round, eased through the second, and followed it up with an emphatic win over Schwartzman, even if it went the distance. He has the pressure of being in the same half of the draw as his compatriot Medvedev. Nonetheless, they play each other for the first time and this makes for an intriguing encounter. It would be fair to say that the Russian has endured a harder draw than Humbert has. Humbert will be looking to close the points quicker by varying his shots, but if the Russian’s ground play clicks, he should have the last laugh.
Prediction: Khachanov in 3

Yesh:
Humbert pulled off an incredible comeback to take out Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round. Khachanov, meanwhile, upped his game to take out Diego Schwartzman. Khachanov plays more cleanly than his opponent, and he’s been in bigger situations before. That will make the difference.
Prediction: Khachanov in 2

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Pablo Carreno Busta vs Daniil Medvedev

Jim:
This tournament looks like being a fairly accurate reflection of Carreno Busta’s career. The Spaniard has reached the quarterfinals by beating the players he is expected to beat. Now he looks set to lose to one he is expected to lose to. Medvedev simply has too many advantages over Carreno Busta on this surface to expect the man from Gijon to bridge the gap.
Prediction: Medvedev in 2

Anurag:
Before the Olympics began it was between Djokovic and Medvedev, and the Russian is still a strong contender to win the Gold. Medvedev excels on the quick hard court. But the Spaniard looks the more confident of the two and he has really played gritty tennis through every match here. Notwithstanding his lower ranking, I expect the Spaniard to cause significant trouble to the Russian, especially from behind the baseline, but Medvedev should still prevail.
Prediction: Medvedev in 3

Yesh:
Medvedev is in great form here, and he just took out an in-form Fabio Fognini in the last round. There is nothing Carreno Busta can do to hit through the Russian, and he has no counter to his strong game.
Prediction: Medvedev in 2

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Jim:
Some have billed this as a huge occasion, but it’s hard to understand why. Nishikori has impressed in fits and starts this week, but this is a dreadful matchup for the Japanese. His last win over Djokovic came in 2014 and since then he has lost to the Serbian 15 times in a row. Stranger things have happened, especially at the Olympics, but not many and not often.
Prediction: Djokovic in 2

Anurag:
One might be tempted to think this match will be tightly contested, but there is a small chance of that. Nishikori has been sailing strong on the back of home advantage but very few players on the tour can get the better of this version of Djokovic–he is at his adamant best and is a different proposition than anyone else. The lone Japanese medal hope has little or no chance of finding inroads into the Serb’s flawless game. Their head-to-head record of 16-2 doesn’t help his cause either.
Prediction: Djokovic in 2

Yesh:
This looks like an incredible matchup. Nishikori hasn’t beaten Djokovic in a long time, but he looks inspired to represent his country in Tokyo. Djokovic, meanwhile, has been nowhere near his best self at this event. It’s still good enough to win it all, of course, but Nishikori will fight harder than anyone else. If this match had crowds I would take the Japanese man, but it’s hard to feel the inspiration from just inside yourself.
Prediction: Djokovic in 3

Main Photo from Getty.


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