Kei Nishikori gets revenge for US Open loss, beats Stan Wawrinka at ATP Finals
Razor sharp Kei Nishikori defeated a somewhat subdued Swiss Stan Wawrinka 6-2 6-3 in a disappointingly one-sided clash at the ATP World Tour Finals on Monday.tennis Updated: Nov 15, 2016 10:10 IST
Razor sharp Kei Nishikori defeated a somewhat subdued Swiss Stan Wawrinka 6-2 6-3 in a disappointingly one-sided clash at the ATP World Tour Finals on Monday.
Billed as a tasty hors d’oeuvres before world number one and home hero Andy Murray made his entrance in the evening session, the match was an anti-climax as Nishikori won the group opener in little more than an hour in front of a subdued crowd.
From the opening game when Wawrinka had to save two break points, the 31-year-old struggled and Nishikori duly got the first break in the fifth game with a punishing forehand.
Nishikori was ruthlessly efficient and quickly polished off the first set aided by a second break when U.S. Open champion Wawrinka double-faulted to end a woeful service game.
Wawrinka tried to pump himself up at the start of the second set, delivering a couple of signature backhands, but he was still struggling to locate his A-game.
The crowd, far from a sell-out, wanted more for their money but a miscued Wawrinka forehand into the net gave Nishikori a break point in the fifth game which he converted when Wawrinka elected to leave a return that floated in.
Nishikori, who could still finish the year at a career-high third in the ATP rankings, claimed some revenge for this year’s U.S. Open semi-final loss when he broke again to end the contest after Wawrinka wafted a lazy backhand over the baseline.
“I thought I could play at a better level today. I was expecting a good match. Didn’t happen today,” Wawrinka said.
Nishikori, whose year has been consistent rather than spectacular with only one title, played with such authority he will fancy his chances of reaching at least the semi-finals, as he did on his debut in 2014.
“I’m feeling pretty good. Actually I had some time to prepare for this week. I lost early in Paris, so I had one week and half until today’s match,” he said.
“I was working really hard, practising, training. I’m really looking forward to play next few matches.”