WTA Tour

Nishikori wows sold-out crowd

2014-10-01 14:10
Kei Nishikori (Gallo Images)

Tokyo - Japan's Kei Nishikori began his quest for a second Japan Open title with a comprehensive 6-3 6-4 win over Croatia's Ivan Dodig in front of a sell-out crowd on Wednesday.

The 10 000 Japanese spectators who had thronged the Ariake Colosseum went home satisfied as their national hero took 85 minutes to seal the contest in a tournament which has already seen shock first round exits for top seed Stan Wawrinka and 2009 champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The demand for tickets has soared since fourth seed Nishikori reached the US Open final last month and the 24-year-old, who overcame a sluggish start to hit some pinpoint groundstrokes, did not let them down.

"Winning Kuala Lumpur (last week) gave me more confidence," Nishikori told local reporters of his third title of the year.

"I try not to pay attention to the crowd or what the opponent is doing, but it's always good to play at home. I can feel the support here," said the local favourite, who faces Donald Young in the second round after the American beat Japan's Go Soeda 6-4 6-2.

"(Young's) definitely a tough player, he can play very aggressive," said the 2012 champion.

"He's also a lefty and that makes things even more complicated."

For compatriot Tatsuma Ito, the euphoria after stunning Wawrinka did not last long as the wildcard was beaten 6-3 6-3 by Germany's Benjamin Becker who will face American Jack Sock in the last eight.

Read more on:    japan open  |  kei nishikori  |  tennis

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk


Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.