Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori ‘nerveless’ in upset victory at home Olympics tennis event

Kei Nishikori has come through the first round of the Tokyo Olympics tennis singles with an impressive win against the odds. 

The former world number number four came through impressively against current world number seven and fifth seed in the tournament Andrey Rublev for a place in the second round.

The Japanese won through 6-3, 6-4 to stay in his fourth Olympics tennis tournament, first appearing at Beijing 2008.

“You know it’s been a while playing like this and playing to beat top 10 players. I think it’s been two years already,” the Rio 2016 bronze medallist said after his win.

“I was a little bit worried if I got nervous on the court but I wasn’t, so that’s a good sign.

“I think experience helps a lot. The first Olympics (in 2008) I was really nervous, and I have a bad memory about that (after losing in the first round) but since then, I think I got many experience, I got strong mentally, and I’m playing good.”

Nishikori was certainly calm defending his serve, surrendering just one break from five chances for Rublev, doing so in the first set before immediately rectifying the matter with a break of his own.

The 2014 US Open finalist will next play American Marcus Giron for a place in the last 16.