• Nishikori kicks off Halle bid against Youzhny

    6/12/13 4:15 AM | Cheryl Murray
    Nishikori kicks off Halle bid against Youzhny No. 4 seed Kei Nishikori will begin his 2013 grass campaign against Russian Mikhail Youzhny as the second round begins.

    This will be the first ever meeting between Japan's Kei Nishikori and Mikhail Youzhny. The Russian comes into Halle off a solid round of 16 run at the French Open, but he was dismal in his last match there against Tommy Haas.

    Nishikori also made the fourth round in Paris, falling victim to eventual champion Rafael Nadal in straight sets.

    Nishikori has not been a threat on grass historically, though he has a semifinal showing in Eastbourne back in 2011. Still, the Japanese man is playing the best tennis of his career, as evidenced by his career-high ranking of No. 13 in the world.

    The surface should suit Youzhny's bigger game better than Nishikori's, but with the Russian's inconsistent play, Nishikori may have the chance to advance anyway.

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