Previews and predictions: Querrey vs. Kokkinakis, Nishikori vs. Zverev

Thanasi Kokkinakis will be playing in his first career ATP final when he takes the court against Sam Querrey on Saturday in Los Cabos. In Washington, D.C., meanwhile, semifinal action includes Kei Nishikori and Alexander Zverev.

Abierto Mexicano de Tenis: (WC) Thanasi Kokkinakis vs. (2) Sam Querrey

Querrey and Kokkinakis will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers when they battle for the Los Cabos title on Saturday night. Their only previous encounter came two years ago on the red clay of Madrid, where Querrey got the job done 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3. Kokkinakis has been mostly absent from ATP Tour prominence since then due to a myriad of injuries, but he is finally getting back in gear. The 21-year-old Australian won two main-tour matches in 2017 prior to this week and he is through to his first career final following victories over Frances Tiafoe, Peter Polansky (in a third-set tiebreaker), Taylor Fritz, and top-seeded Tomas Berdych.

At a much different point in his career, the 29-year-old Querrey is no stranger to ATP title matches. This marks his 17th such appearance and he is bidding for his 10th winner’s trophy. The 24th-ranked American booked his place in this showdown by beating Evan King (in a third-set tiebreaker), Vincent Millot, and Damir Dzumhur. Querrey is a stellar 26-14 this season with a 500-point title in Acapulco. The No. 2 seed clearly loves playing in these Mexican conditions and his experience will also be a factor against Kokkinakis.

Pick: Querrey in 3

Citi Open: (5) Alexander Zverev vs. (2) Kei Nishikori

Like Querrey and Kokkinakis in Los Cabos, both Nishikori and Zverev endured major scares en route to their weekend appearances in Washington, D.C. Nishikori fought off three match points before outlasting Tommy Paul 3-6, 7-6(8), 6-4 on Friday night. Zverev was pushed to a final-set tiebreaker by Jordan Thompson in his opener but managed to survive 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5). The eighth-ranked German went on to defeat Tennys Sandgren and Daniil Medvedev, while Nishikori preceded his victory over Paul by getting the best of Donald Young (in a third-set tiebreaker) and Juan Martin Del Potro.

Current form favors Zverev, who is in line to make his debut at the World Tour Finals in London. The 20-year-old is 39-13 this season and his spot in the Washington, D.C. semis comes as no surprise especially because he also reached this stage last summer. A former champion of this event (2015), Nishikori is still looking for his first title of 2017 on the heels of two runner-up performances (Brisbane and Buenos Aires). The world No. 9 was just 3-3 in his last six matches prior to this week and he has been far from dominant in D.C., so Zverev should have an edge.

Pick: Zverev in 2

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