Kei Nishikori nails victory to keep Japanese medal hopes alive
Kei Nishikori came through a tough encounter with American Marcos Giron to keep tennis medal hopes going for the host nation.
The former world number four will have brought back some happiness for Japanese fans after the shock of Naomi Osaka’s exit earlier in Tokyo.
Nishikori looked strong to open the match, break serve at 1-1 in the first set, before surrendering the break back for 3-3, eventually taking it to a tiebreak.
The 2014 US Open finalist clinched it 7-5 to gain the advantage in the match.
But Giron did not lie down, and the American immediately broke Nishikori and held firm on his own serve before breaking again to claim the second set 6-3.
Nishikori regathered himself though, breaking in the opening game, then doing so twice more for a resounding 6-1 scoreline in the deciding set.
The Japanese star already has a bronze medal from Rio 2016, but will be hoping to add to his tally in the excitement of a home Olympics.
He will next face in-form Belarusian Ilya Ivashka for a place in the quarter-finals.
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