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Nishikori opens with a straight sets win at Brisbane

Nishikori opens his season with a straight sets win over Johnson at Brisbane International

Kei Nishikori of Japan plays a shot in his match against Steve Johnson of the U.S. during the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Au...
Steve Johnson of the U.S. plays a shot in his match against Kei Nishikori of Japan during the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Au...

Australia Brisbane International Tennis

Kei Nishikori of Japan plays a shot in his match against Steve Johnson of the U.S. during the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Au...

Australia Brisbane International Tennis

Steve Johnson of the U.S. plays a shot in his match against Kei Nishikori of Japan during the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Au...

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) -- Kei Nishikori opened his season with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Steve Johnson at the Brisbane International on Wednesday, converting a break point in each set and raising his game a notch when he needed it most.

The 25-year-old Japanese player set benchmarks for Asian men in tennis during a breakout 2014, reaching his first Grand Slam final at the U.S. Open and rising to a year-end No. 5 ranking as he won four titles.

He's aiming to improve on all those standards in 2015. Last year, he reached the semifinals in Brisbane. With a No. 2 seeding now and a higher profile, he's already into the quarterfinals.

After a first-round bye, he needed only 80 minutes to advance through the second round, serving out on his fourth match point.


Updated : 2021-09-23 05:52 GMT+08:00