Nishikori Moves Past Rubin At New York Open

Kei Nishikori (photo: New York Open/twitter)

LONG ISLAND, February 14, 2018

Kei Nishikori headlined Tuesday’s first round action of the New York Open, held at the NYCB Live, home of the Nassau Coliseum. The No. 5 seed from Japan edged past Noah Rubin from the United States 7-5, 6-3.

Nishikori won 72 per cent of his first service points and broke his opponent five times to secure victory in one hour and 34 minutes. The 2014 US Open runner-up is back on the ATP World Tour for the first time since losing to Gael Monfils in Montreal on 9 August of last year, having been sidelined with a right wrist injury. He comes into New York on a winning streak, having claimed the ATP Challenger Tour event in Dallas two weeks ago.

“It helped me a lot to form my confidence tennis-wise and also a big help for my wrist,” Nishikori told. “I think I played four matches in a row and my wrist was okay. So, that is pretty important for me, right now being physically strong. Tennis, it’s going to take [some] time, so I try to fight slowly every match and hope I can play good tennis next match.” 

Nishikori will next face Evgeny Donskoy of Russia, who beat Victor Estrella Burgos from the Dominican Republic 7-5, 6-1.

Menéndez-Maceiras Rallies Past Johnson

Adrian Menéndez-Maceiras from Spain caused the upset of the day, as he knocked out No. 7 seed Steve Johnson from the United States. The 32-year-old qualifier withstood 21 aces, hitting six of his own to claim a 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 win in two hours and 12 minutes.

“Starting from the qualifying match, and first match I was 0-5 in the first set, and then I comeback and won my match. Second round qualies, I was love-three, I think, in the first set,” Menéndez-Maceiras said. “Today, it was 1-6 in the first, but, I think mentally I am very strong. So, I am [going to] keep fighting and trying to find my game, and that’s what I did today.

“New York is a great city, I love to come here, and the U.S. Open was my first Grand Slam. I remember, I think I was 20 years old or 21. So, it was very nice- so every year I love to come here in the summer and now with this new event, for sure, I’ll be back here.”

Next up for Menéndez-Maceiras will be French veteran Jeremy Chardy. The 31-year-old from Pau outlasted Italian qualifier Stefano Travaglia 4-6, 7-6, 6-4. The encounter lasted two hours and six minutes.