Kei Nishikori

‘I played very solid,’ Kei Nishikori continues successful return with Dubai win


Kei Nishikori has come from a set down to reach the second round in Dubai, bolstering his steady comeback.

Kei Nishikori defeated American Reilly Opelka 3-6 6-3 6-4 in a tight first-round match in Dubai.

The Japanese star has won only five matches since returning to the tour in September following a lengthy injury absence. However, he has now won 3 of his last 5 matches, including a run to the quarter-finals in Rotterdam.

‘It wasn’t easy, especially against him, especially this court,’ Nishikori said in his on-court interview. ‘It’s very fast with a high bounce,’ he added.

‘It wasn’t easy to make many returns in my game but I think the couple of games when I broke him in the second and third [set] I played very solid.

‘I tried to step in a little more because [Opelka’s serve] bounces really high. He served really well, not easy to play against him.

Kei Nishikori will play David Goffin in the next round. He does have a 3-0 record over the Belgian, but all of their meetings came back in 2015.

‘I’m happy to play against him next,’ Nishikori continued post-match. ‘We’re good friends, he’s a nice guy. We always have good battles and play long matches.

‘I’m expecting a tough one, but I’ll try to do my best.’

Read more about the Japanese tennis icon here.

Kei Nishikori
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