Andy Murray believes that his next opponent at the ATP World Tour Finals, Kei Nishikori, is enjoying some of the best form of his career. Murray was speaking after opening his bid for glory at the O2 Arena in London with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Marin Cilic, with the world number one impressing after making a slow start – losing his serve in the third game of the first set.
I would say this is probably his best year that he has had on the tour.
Earlier, Nishikori had swept aside Stan Wawrinka 6-2 6-3 and Murray is wary of the threat posed by the former US Open finalist when they meet on Wednesday afternoon.
He told Sky Sports: “He obviously must have played very well. To win against a player like Stan with that scoreline, I don’t think Stan had really any chances on Kei’s serve either.
“I would say this is probably his best year that he has had on the tour. He is one of the best players in the world. He has been playing very well the last few months especially.”
Murray holds a 7-2 winning record against Nishikori, but it was the latter who won their last meeting – edging a five-set thriller in the quarter-finals of the US Open earlier this year.
World number one Murray had previously come out on top in their other two meetings in 2016, including in the semi-finals of the Olympic Games in Rio.
The two men also faced each other at the World Tour Finals two years ago, when Nishikori ran out a 6-4 6-4 winner in a round robin clash.
Murray can be backed at 2/7 to win on Wednesday and is 4/6 to do so in two straight sets, with Nishikori priced at 13/2 to triumph in three sets.