Medvedev defeats Nishikori in final
TENNIS: Russia’s Daniil Medvedev played the role of party pooper in Tokyo as he beat home favourite and third seed Kei Nishikori in the final of the Rakuten Open.
Medvedev won 6-2 6-4 for his third victory of 2018, and the second as a qualifier after his win in Sydney.
The 22-year-old’s serve proved too strong for Nishikori and he won 38 of his 43 service points in the match.
“He’s serving great,” Nishikori said. “I didn’t have any chance on his first serve, even second serve.
“His ball was skipping a lot with this surface and he was hitting good enough flat shots and he was serving great, so it was tough to play against Daniil.”
The win will see Medvedev become Russia’s No 1 when the updated rankings are released on today.
Nishikori had advanced to yesterday’s final in Tokyo with a 7-6 (7/2) 6-1 win over eighth seed Richard Gasquet.
Qualifier Medvedev saw off Canada’s Denis Shapovalov 6-3 6-3 to become the first qualifier to reach the final in Tokyo since Magnus Norman in 2002.