Nishikori sur­vives scare

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

TOP seed Kei Nishikori re­cov­ered from a nervy start to beat Amer­i­can Don­ald Young 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in his open­ing match at the Ja­pan Open on Oc­to­ber 3.

The Ja­panese world num­ber five, who reached the semi-fi­nals of last month’s US Open, looked hor­ri­bly out of sorts against a player who only got the call to play in Tokyo af­ter Spain’s Ni­co­las Al­ma­gro with­drew with ill­ness.

“I wasn’t be­ing ag­gres­sive enough in that first set and was miss­ing a lot,” Nishikori told re­porters.

“He was com­ing into the net a lot but he slowed down in the sec­ond set and I be­gan to find my range.”

Nishikori, who won the Ja­pan Open in 2012 and 2014, is favourite to win a third Tokyo ti­tle af­ter US Open win­ner and de­fend­ing cham­pion Stan Wawrinka pulled out with a back in­jury.

Ear­lier on Oc­to­ber 3, fourth seed Marin Cilic also made hard work of his opener be­fore see­ing off French­man Benoit Paire 6-0, 4-6, 6-3.

In other matches, Por­tu­gal’s Joao Sousa beat Martin Kl­izan of Slo­vakia 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 while Spain’s Fer­nando Ver­dasco edged Ja­panese vet­eran Go Soeda 6-7, 6-3, 6-3. –

Photo: AFP

Kei Nishikori of Ja­pan hits a re­turn against Don­ald Young of the US dur­ing their men’s sin­gles first round match at the ATP Ja­pan Open ten­nis tour­na­ment in Tokyo on Oc­to­ber 3.

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