Kei Nishikori beats Stan Wawrinka in straight sets at ATP fi­nals

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

For the first time, Stan Wawrinka lost a match at the ATP fi­nals to some­one who hasn’t been ranked No. 1 in the world.

The US Open cham­pion, who has reached the semi­fi­nals of the sea­son-end­ing tour­na­ment for the last three years, lost his open­ing match Mon­day at the O2 Arena to Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-3.

“It was not a great match com­pared to what I can do, that’s for sure,” said Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam cham­pion. “I don’t think I find any­thing on the court to­day. I was a lit­tle bit slow on ev­ery­thing. I was hes­i­tat­ing a lot with my game, my move­ment.”

Wawrinka holds a 6-7 record at the tour­na­ment for the top eight play­ers in the world, but his pre­vi­ous six losses were against Roger Fed­erer, Rafael Nadal and No­vak Djokovic - twice to each.

Yes­ter­day’s loss doesn’t mean Wawrinka is out of the tour­na­ment, but it hurts his chances of fin­ish­ing the year as the No. 3-ranked player. Wawrinka, Nishikori and Mi­los Raonic all have a chance to end up one spot be­hind Andy Mur­ray and Djokovic.

“I’m sure I still have some­thing in­side me to play some great ten­nis be­fore the end of the year, so I’m go­ing to try ev­ery­thing for that in the next match,” Wawrinka said. “I’m go­ing to do what I need to do to­mor­row to get ready for try­ing to play bet­ter in two days.”

Nishikori, cur­rently ranked fifth, helped his own chances of reach­ing that third spot by break­ing Wawrinka twice in each set while not al­low­ing a sin­gle break point on his serve.

“I’m not think­ing too much about rank­ings, but would be nice if I could fin­ish 4 or 3,” Nishikori said. “I see a good chance to be there if I can play good this week.”

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