Kei Nishikori has put together a phenomenal run this summer. After reaching the quarterfinals at the Olympics in his home country, Nishikori flew to Washington, D.C. and made the semifinals (where he lost to Mackenzie McDonald). Historically, Nishikori has been one of the game's more fragile competitors, but his durability on an unforgiving hard surface has been a welcome surprise. For the first time in a long time, it seems Nishikori is competing at full strength.

But his second-rounder in Toronto against Wimbledon semifinalist Hubert Hurkacz will be Nishikori’s 11th match in 18 days. Will that be too much to overcome? There were plenty of Nishikori-fatigue fade picks during the Citi Open floating around tennis-betting Twitter, and only one paid off. But for the most part, his quality of recent opponent has not been the same level as the 6’5” Pole.

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The Pick Hurkacz Nishikori Toronto

The Pick Hurkacz Nishikori Toronto

Nishikori and Hurkacz have played twice before, with Hurkacz winning two fantastic three-setters, both on hard courts in 2019. According to the oddsmakers, Nishikori is listed as a -117 favorite in this exciting second-round pick 'em.

Though he’s one of the smaller players on tour, Nishikori remains one of the most aggressive. When given an attackable ball, the former world No. 4 will crush it—with great accuracy—to a corner. But this might actually benefit Hurkacz, who so often struggles to formulate a game plan during his matches. His movement is deceptively explosive, and he enjoys coming up with brilliant shots on the run:

Hurkacz will bait his opponent to come in, then uses his extreme range and power from the corner to hit a relatively routine passing shot.

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Nishikori's mounting fatigue, combined with his demanding game style, puts Hurkacz in a comfortable spot. I expected him to be a solid favorite in this match, and given his extremely affordable -113 price, I will be backing the Pole to win. Please keep any bets on the small side, though, as Nishikori is an incredible player, but Hurkacz’s free-point advantage on serve should serve him well.

The Pick: Hubert Hurkacz