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Kei Nishikori stunned by Dusan Lajovic in Miami Open second round

Nishikori had a first-round bye and appeared headed for a routine victory until Lajovic, who was misfiring in the early stages of the match, suddenly stepped up his game.

tennis Updated: Mar 23, 2019 15:58 IST
Reuters
Reuters
Miami
Kei Nishikori,Dusan Lajovic,Miami Open
Kei Nishikori of Japan serves against Dusan Ljovic of Serbia.(USA TODAY Sports)

Kei Nishikori was sent packing from the second round of the Miami Open on Friday after Serbian Dusan Lajovic stunned the Japanese world number six 2-6 6-2 6-3.

Fifth-seed Nishikori had a first-round bye and appeared headed for a routine victory until Lajovic, who was misfiring in the early stages of the match, suddenly stepped up his game.

“He definitely raised his level (in the) second and third sets. He wasn’t missing much like in the first set. He served well in the end,” said Nishikori.

“Maybe I didn’t play quite my best today. Credit to him today.”

Nishikori, playing in his first match since falling in the third round at Indian Wells last week, had his serve broken five times during the match.

“I’m trying to keep my head up,” said Nishikori. “Claycourt season is coming. It’s a completely new season. I’ll try to have good practice, two more weeks, and be ready for Monte Carlo.”

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Next up for world number 44 Lajovic, who had lost in the first round of five tour-level events this season, will be a clash with Nick Kyrgios after the Australian defeated qualifier Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan 7-5 6-3.

In other men’s matches, seventh seed John Isner beat Italian Lorenzo Sonego, 11th seed Borna Coric beat Roberto Carballes Baena, Briton Kyle Edmund beat Belarusian Ilya Ivashka, Gilles Simon lost to French compatriot Jeremy Chardy and Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia beat German Mischa Zverev.

Canadian Milos Raonic, the 12th seed, also advanced when Germany’s Maximillian Marterer withdrew due to knee pain while 16th seed Gael Monfils pulled out of the tournament with an injury.

Top seed Novak Djokovic kicks off the night session against Australian Bernard Tomic.

First Published: Mar 23, 2019 10:31 IST