Finals previews and picks: Nishikori vs. Giraldo, Dimitrov vs. Rosol

Dimitrov 1An unexpected Barcelona final will pit Kei Nishikori against Santiago Giraldo on Sunday. In Bucharest, meanwhile, Grigor Dimitrov and Lukas Rosol are battling for the title.

Santiago Giraldo vs. (4) Kei Nishikori

Giraldo and Nishikori will be going head-to-head for the seventh time in their careers when they square off in the final of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell on Sunday. Nishikori leads the head-to-head series 5-1 after dominating Giraldo 6-1, 6-3 last month in Indian Wells. Their only previous clay-court meeting came at the 2010 French Open, with the Japanese star mounting a 2-6, 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-2, 6-4 comeback.

It has been a dream week for Giraldo, who certainly benefited from Rafael Nadal’s early exit in the top half of the draw when the Colombian knocked off Nicolas Almagro in straight sets on Saturday. Giraldo had to save multiple match points in a third-round thriller against Dominic Thiem. Nishikori has advanced with defeats of Roberto Bautista Agut, Andrey Golubev, Marin Cilic, and Ernests Gulbis. The No. 4 seed, who has looked better and better with each match this week, is bidding for his fifth career ATP title. Giraldo is a modest 0-1 lifetime in ATP finals. Clay should help the underdog to be more competitive than he was in the desert, but all signs point to a Nishikori victory.

Pick: Nishikori in 2

(1) Grigor Dimitrov vs. Lukas Rosol

Don’t mess with Rosol at the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy. The 28-year-old Czech had never reached an ATP final prior to last year’s installment of this event and he had not reached one since–at least not until this week. Bucharest’s defending champion is back in the title match thanks to wins over Filippo Volandri, Jarkko Nieminen, Gilles Simon, and Robin Haase. Rosol is now 12-10 for his 2014 campaign and has maintained fine form following a third-round performance in Monte-Carlo.

Standing in Rosol’s way on Sunday is Dimitrov, whom is in the midst of his most consistent season on tour. The 16th-ranked Bulgarian is an awesome 19-6 for the year with a title in Acapulco. He cooled off slightly in Indian Wells and Miami before advancing to the Monte-Carlo third round and taking out Jiri Vesely, Sergiy Stakhovsky, and Gael Monfils (via first-set retirement) so far in Bucharest. Rosol moves well on clay, can hit through it, and has time to set up for his shots. Nonetheless, Dimitrov’s athletic defensive skills will be on display in this one and the top seed will likely force his opponent to play too many extended rallies.

Pick: Dimitrov in 2

8 Comments on Finals previews and picks: Nishikori vs. Giraldo, Dimitrov vs. Rosol

  1. At this point I can agree that if Rafa can get past the quarterfinals, that would be a breakthrough. That’s where things get really tough. I am for any rituals or good luck charms or whatever to send good vibes to Rafa.

    Rafa needs our support now more than ever. I will be cheering him on, every step of the way. He needs a little bit of luck and maybe winning a difficult match against a quality opponent to get back on track. I truly hope it happens for him in Madrid.

    • then please no more sleeping through Rafa’s matches. We need you all the way…I know the time difference is a huge problem, I understand you are tired, but we have this big task right now! Rafa needs every one of us to send him some good vibes! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Next time Rafa plays we need you to stay with us and watch the match from the very beginning…deal? ๐Ÿ™‚

      • @natashao,

        Is this for me? I always try to stay up and watch Rafa’s matches. I absolutely will do my best to be there cheering him on all the way!

        I will be looking for you as I stay up until all hours! ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Great! Thank you!

          We have to stick together! ๐Ÿ™‚ Rafa needs us! I know he is far from knowing that we exist ๐Ÿ™‚ but I believe our joint support will send some good vibes to our Rafa and will provide him with some luck that he needs and did not have these last couple of months…

          Vamos Tenngrand Brigade! ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Djokovic is engaged in one of his ‘misinformation’ campaigns (last year it was the ankle, this year it’s the wrist). I’m harbouring the secret hope that Rafa is hiding his light under a bushel up until RG and will storm back to blow all his opponents off the court.


  3. It’s kinda neat that Dimitrov and Sharapova won title matches on the same day.

    A gal can’t have too many Porsches lol.

Comments are closed.

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