Nishikori beats lucky loser Don­ald Young in 3 sets in Tokyo

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Top-seeded Kei Nishikori came from a set down to beat Amer­i­can lucky loser Don­ald Young 46, 6-2, 6-2 yes­ter­day in the first round of the Ja­pan Open.

Nishikori had been drawn to face Ni­co­las Al­ma­gro, but the Span­ish player with­drew be­cause of ill­ness. Young, who had lost in qual­i­fy­ing to Ryan Harrison, was given Al­ma­gro’s spot in the draw just a few hours be­fore walk­ing on court at Ari­ake Colos­seum.

Young took the first set against the fifth-ranked Nishikori but couldn’t cap­i­talise. The fifthranked Nishikori twice broke on dou­ble faults by Young in the clos­ing stages and ex­tended his ca­reer record over the Amer­i­can to 4-0.

“I was miss­ing too much in the be­gin­ning, I should have hit with more top spin,” Nishikori said. “He was play­ing ag­gres­sive, com­ing in a lot, and I was hit­ting too short. In the sec­ond set, he started to slow down a bit and I started play­ing more deep, more ag­gres­sive, and started us­ing my fore­hand more.”

Next up for Nishikori is Por­tu­gal’s Joao Sousa, who ral­lied to beat Slo­vakia’s Martin Kl­izan 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Fourth-seeded Marin Cilic ad­vanced with a 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 win over last year’s run­ner-up, Benoit Paire of France.

The French­man broke only once, in the sev­enth game of the sec­ond set. Cilic re­gained con­trol with a de­ci­sive break in the sixth game of the third.

“In the mid­dle of the sec­ond set he started to serve a lot bet­ter,” Cilic said. “At the end of the sec­ond set, I broke from my plan. I missed some balls and wasn’t mak­ing him play enough in the critical sit­u­a­tions, so in the third set I went back to ba­sics.”

Cilic will face Fer­nando Ver­dasco in the sec­ond round. The Spa­niard beat Ja­panese qual­i­fier Go Soeda 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-3.

Ja­pan’s Kei Nishikori re­turns a shot against Don­ald Young

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.