Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur
Tomorrow, [CR28] Julien Benneteau (FRA) gets another opportunity to win his first ATP Tour title when he plays [CR8] Kei Nishikori (JPN) in the Malaysian Open Final, Kuala Lumpur.
Benneteau has a complete game, he does everything well and he is an excellent shot maker. He has game, making it to ten singles finals confirms that; however, he has not been able to get over that final barrier, yet. Has it been a physical or mental barrier that prevented Benneteau from winning a singles title? He has won ten doubles titles in his career. He benefits from having a partner on the court because when he goes it alone, he struggles and his game breaks down. It may not all be psychological; however, that has to be a significant factor in his inability to win when he plays a singles final. He can fight when someone is depending on him, but seems conflicted about doing so for himself.
Nishikori is not going to be an easy opponent to beat. The odds are stacked against him, the last time he beat Nishikori was in 2007 and Nishikori is now a much better player. However, winning on paper is easy, players have to go on court and compete, and there anything is possible.
Benneteau deserves a title, he has put in the years of training and has made the sacrifices, but so too has his opponent; may the best player win.