Wimbledon

Nishikori hails perfect start

2014-06-26 17:00
Kei Nishikori (AFP)

London - Kei Nishikori has admitted he had made a perfect start to his Wimbledon campaign as the Japanese 10th seed moved into the third round with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 thrashing of American qualifier Denis Kudla on Thursday.

Nishikori has never gone past the third round at the All England Club in five attempts, but the world number 12 looks a good bet to end that frustrating run this year.

He was far too strong for Kudla, hitting 40 winners to just 14 from the world number 136, and hasn't dropped a set in his opening two matches.

The 24-year-old will Italy's Simone Bolelli for a place in the last 16.

"It's been almost perfect first and second rounds for me," Nishikori said.

"This year after the claycourt season I gained more confidence. My tennis is changing, more consistent, and everything is going well.

"Even on grass, my serve is getting better. Also I can be more aggressive from the groundstrokes now. I try to come in more on grass especially. I feel really comfortable."

Nishikori had expected to face a tough test from German 22nd seed Philipp Kohlschreiber in the last 32, but instead he has a winnable tie against Bolelli, the world number 132 who only qualified for the tournament as a lucky loser, defeating Japan's Tatsuma Ito in the first round before shocking Kohlschreiber.

Nishikori, whose best run at a Grand Slam came in 2012 when he reached the Australian Open quarter-finals, has lost in the Wimbledon third round for the last two years.

But his pre-Wimbledon grasscourt practice sessions with coach Michael Chang appear to be paying dividends already.

Following that intense training period with former French Open champion Chang, Nishikori reached the Halle semi-finals on grass.

He was never threatened by Ukraine-born Kudla, a 21-year-old who looked out of his depth as the Japanese star cruised to victory in 88 minutes on Court 18.

Asked if he feels ready to make a long run at Wimbledon, Nishikori's upbeat response spoke volumes.

"Hopefully I can go win the next one and make a big jump here," he said.

"It was almost a perfect game for me. I was able to break his serve early in each set and that meant I could relax. I was able to attack his groundstrokes. Also I returned was well today.

"He didn't have a big serve, so I was able to put some pressure on his service game. Everything worked well today."

Wimbledon results on Thursday, the fourth day of the 2014 championships at the All England Club (x denotes seeded player):

Men

Second round
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x14) bt Sam Querrey (USA) 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 14-12
Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI x5) bt Lu Yen-Hsun (TPE) 7-6 (8/6), 6-3, 3-6, 7-5
Denis Istomin (UZB) bt Julian Reister (GER) 7-6 (9/7), 6-4, 6-4
Tommy Robredo (ESP x23) bt Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (7/5)
Roger Federer (SUI x4) bt Gilles Muller (LUX) 6-3, 7-5, 6-3
Milos Raonic (CAN x8) bt Jack Sock (USA) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
Lukasz Kubot (POL) bt Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 7-6 (7/3)
Simone Bolelli (ITA) bt Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER x22) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5
Kei Nishikori (JPN x10) bt Denis Kudla (USA) 6-3, 6-2, 6-1
Nick Kyrgios (AUS) bt Richard Gasquet (FRA x13) 3-6, 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 7-5, 10-8
Jir Vesel (CZE) bt Gael Monfils (FRA x24) 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, 6-7 (1/7), 6-7 (3/7), 6-4
Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) bt Frank Dancevic (CAN) 6-3, 6-3, 6-2
Rafael Nadal (ESP x2) bt Luks Rosol (CZE) 4-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-4, 6-4

Women

Second round
Serena Williams (USA x1) bt Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) 6-1, 6-1
Alize Cornet (FRA x25) bt Petra Cetkovsk (CZE) 6-4, 5-7, 6-3
Andrea Petkovic (GER x20) bt Irina Begu (ROM) 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
Eugnie Bouchard (CAN) bt Silvia Soler (ESP) 7-5, 6-1
Angelique Kerber (GER x9) bt Heather Watson (GBR) 6-2, 5-7, 6-1
Kirsten Flipkens (BEL x24) bt Lourdes Domnguez (ESP) 6-2, 6-1
Alison Riske (USA) bt Camila Giorgi (ITA) 7-5, 6-2
Maria Sharapova (RUS x5) bt Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) 6-2, 6-1
Vera Zvonareva (RUS) bt Donna Vekic (CRO) 6-4, 6-4
Zarina Diyas (KAZ) bt Carla Surez (ESP x15) 7-6 (14/12), 5-7, 6-2
Ana Ivanovic (SRB x11) bt Zheng Jie (CHN) 6-4, 6-0
Sabine Lisicki (GER x19) bt Karolna Plskov (CZE) 6-3, 7-5
Madison Keys (USA) bt Klara Koukalova (CZE x31) 7-5, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2
Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) bt Kaia Kanepi (EST) 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 6-2

Read more on:    atp tour  |  wimbledon  |  kei nishikori  |  tennis
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