Kei Nishikori is back! Read everything about it

Kei Nishikori made a successful return to tennis after an extended break

by Jovica Ilic
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Kei Nishikori is back! Read everything about it

Former Major finalist Kei Nishikori is back in action for the first time since October 2021! The 33-year-old returned to the practice court in recent months, announcing his comeback and making it at the Caribbean Open Challenger in Palmas del Mar, Puerto Rico.

Kei skipped the Challengers in Little Rock and Tyler, not rushing anything and making a winning comeback on Tuesday night. Kei met world no. 333 Christian Langmo in the first round, scoring a 6-2, 6-4 victory in an hour and 43 minutes.

Thus, the Japanese extended his winning streak at Challengers and continued where he left in Dallas in February 2018. Nishikori played a solid match after an extended break, attacking and keeping the points on his racquet.

Former world no. 4 played better behind the first and second serve and defended two out of three break chances. Kei turned 47% of the return points won into four breaks from 11 opportunities, enough to carry him over the top despite losing ground a bit in the closing stages.

Kei Nishikori secured his first victory since October 2021 in Puerto Rico.

Nishikori found the pace of his strokes right from the start, landing a deep return in the encounter's first game and breaking Langmo at 15. The Japanese held at love with a service winner in game two to cement the break and settle into a fine rhythm.

Christian denied a break point in the third game with a forced error and held after Kei's wayward volley to get his name on the scoreboard. Nishikori won a fantastic rally in the sixth game and closed it with a backhand winner for a 4-2 advantage.

He broke for the second time in game seven to forge a 5-2 lead and serve for the opener. Kei forced Christian's mistake to close the opener in style, hoping for more in set number two. The American squandered his chances at 1-1 and fell on the third break point after the Japanese's lob winner.

Kei held at love in game four with a serve & volley combo for 3-1 and missed two break chances in the fifth game to keep the rival within one break deficit. Suddenly, Langmo stepped in on the return in the sixth game and drew Nishikori's volley error for a break at love and 3-3.

The American held in game seven to move in front and had a game point for 5-4. Instead, Nishikori extended the game and delivered a crucial break following the rival's loose forehand. Kei served for the victory at 5-4 and placed a backhand wide to experience a break point.

He saved it with a service winner before facing the second break point thanks to a wayward smash. Kei denied it with a forced error and earned a match point after Christian's wild forehand. The Japanese drew the American's mistake with a fine attack to emerge at the top and celebrate his first victory since October 2021.

Kei Nishikori
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