Nishikori wins Memphis title
Kei Nishikori (Gallo Images)
Memphis - Japan's Kei Nishikori, who did not drop a set all week, easily defeated Feliciano Lopez 6-2, 6-3 in the final of the US Indoor Tennis Championships, claiming his third career ATP Tour title.
The 23-year-old Nishikori needed just 67 minutes to earn his second title in four months as he managed to break unseeded Lopez's serve four times on Sunday.
"I'm very happy with the way I played today," said Nishikori.
"To win this title is an amazing feeling. I tried to concentrate on all the important points. I served really well this week. I was practising a lot and it's getting better. Hopefully I can win a couple more titles. It's been a good start to the year."
Meeting for the second time on the Tour, Nishikori started fast, breaking Lopez to begin the match.
Nishikori, who is ranked 22nd in the world, clinched the win when Lopez sent a backhand wide on the second championship point. Nishikori appeared to injure his elbow on the first championship point but managed to serve out the match.
"I love this place," said fifth seeded Nishikori. "I played an amazing player but I played aggressive today.
"For sure I want to come back next year."
He had three aces, one double fault and won 80 percent of his second-serve points.
Nishikori improved to 11-2 in 2013 and avenged his third-round loss to Lopez in Barcelona two years ago.
Nishikori, who earned $290,000 in prize money, also won in October on his home soil in Tokyo.
Spain's Lopez finished with eight aces, but he also double faulted three times against Nishikori.
Lopez dropped to 2-6 in title matches with his last win on the tour coming in 2010.
"To be in a final without playing for a few weeks is great result for me," Lopez, 31, said.
Lopez was trying to become the oldest winner on the ATP Tour this season.