In what promises to be an entertaining conclusion to the ATP Washington Open, Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan will take on recent Wimbledon runner-up Nick Kyrgios. Both men have looked very sharp so far this week and both will no doubt be desperate to start their summer in North America with a title. But who will come out on top?
ATP Washington Final Prediction
Yoshihito Nishioka vs Nick Kyrgios
Head-to-head: Kyrgios 4-0 Nishioka
Kyrgios went some way to reshaping the narrative around his career with a focused run to the final at Wimbledon where he gave the great Novak Djokovic a real test in the final. He has maintained that form so far at the ATP Washington Open. The Australian opened his tournament with a 6-3 6-2 win over Marcos Giron, backing that up with an excellent 6-3 6-4 win over 14th seed Tommy Paul. Kyrgios then secured his spot in the quarterfinals by beating Reilly Opelka 7-6 6-2.
Kyrgios came perilously close to defeat against Frances Tiafoe in the last eight. After losing the first set, he won a second set tiebreak 14-12 and that turned the match decisively in his favour as he completed a 6-7 7-6 6-2. Kyrgios then reached his second consecutive final with a 7-6 6-3 over Sweden’s Mikael Ymer, serving 10 aces and no double faults, bringing his total for aces up to 84 for the week in Washington.
Nishioka started his week in Washington by beating Jenson Brooksby 6-4 6-3 before rallying from a set down to beat Alex de Minaur. The Japanese then reached his second tour-level quarterfinal of the season by beating Karen Khachanov 7-6 7-6. Waiting for him was 16th seed Dan Evans, with Nishioka edging out the Briton in a three-set thriller. In the semifinals, he delivered his best performance of the week to dismiss top seed Andrey Rublev for the loss of only seven games.
Kyrgios is surely the favourite coming into the final. He has more experience than Nishioka, is playing the best tennis of his career and has won this title before. But Nishioka should not be underestimated, particularly after his win over Rublev. His excellent return will challenge Kyrgios, who will need to serve well if he is to overcome the Japanese. Fortunately for Kyrgios, he has been serving excellently all week. It may go the distance, but expect Kyrgios to have enough to secure victory.
Prediction: Kyrgios in 3
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