Second seed Kei Nishikori improved to 7-0 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin on Tuesday, saving both break points to advance 6-4, 6-3 at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open. “Served really well today I think that’s why I played very solid. I think everything was good today,” Nishikori said.
Nishikori, who accepted a late wild card into the ATP World Tour 250 event, is looking to get his clay season going in Switzerland. The World No. 9 fell to Juan Martin del Potro in the third round last week at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.
Before that ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, the Japanese right-hander suffered a right wrist injury that kept him out of Barcelona and forced him to withdraw from the Mutua Madrid Open before his quarter-final match. But Nishikori said all is better now. “Physically I think I’m very fit now. So I’m feeling very confident,” Nishikori said.
Del Potro Challenged By Frenchman In Lyon
Fifth seed Steve Johnson stayed perfect on the clay this year, dismissing 37-year-old Frenchman Stephane Robert 6-3, 6-3. The American improved to 5-0 on the red dirt, having won the Fayez Sarofim & Co. US Men’s Clay Court Championship title in Houston last month (d. Bellucci). Johnson will next meet Argentine Horacio Zeballos, who prevailed past Serbian Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 0-6, 7-5.
Serbian wild card Janko Tipsarevic beat ninth seed Ryan Harrison 6-4, 7-6(5) and will next play German lucky loser Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, who outlasted countryman Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(2) in two hours and 16 minutes. The 32-year-old Tipsarevic improved to 2-3 on the ATP World Tour but is 20-0 with four titles on the ATP Challenger Tour this season.