Nishikori ready to win a major

May 21st, 2016 | Ian Carnaby's Sports News

This is quite brief this week because I have been at Goodwood and, in any case, another domestic football season is all but done and dusted. It was a good ante-post campaign for us, with both Tottenham and Walsall making the frame at fancy prices, though it was a pity both capitulated – under contrasting circumstances – right at the end.

I went to Southampton for the Palace game last week, which was closer than the 4-1 scoreline suggests, even though Alan Pardew rested two or three key players with the FA Cup Final in mind. The game against Manchester United looks very tight to me, with Palace more than capable of causing an upset. They have pace and power up front and United will need to watch out for Jason Puncheon drifting in from the right because his left foot is a potent weapon indeed. Overall I think it will be low-scoring and quite possibly level at the end of 90 minutes.

Keeping a careful eye on the tennis in recent weeks I gained the impression that Andy Murray is lasting the pace a shade better than Novak Djokovic and it did not surprise me that he beat him last time. He is gradually leaning to ignore the world number one’s occasional histrionics, which have upset the Scot in the past.

Although he is in the same section of the draw as Murray, I have a feeling that Japan’s KEI NISHIKORI can go a long way in the French Open. He matched Djokovic in every respect recently until playing a poor tie-break and has no reason to feel overawed by either of the top two. Of course, we could have done without possibly playing Murray at the end of the first week but Nishikori comes to the tournament in excellent fettle and is worth a small investment at 25/1. If all goes well, we can look at laying off when the second week gets underway.