Kei Nishikori beats Stan Wawrinka in straight sets at ATP finals
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.”