Former world No. 4 Kei Nishikori was extremely happy with the way he performed against world No. 50 Lloyd Harris during their quarterfinal clash at the Citi Open in Washington. Nishikori, now ranked at No. 67 in the world, stormed past Harris 6-3 7-5 to reach the semifinal in Washington.
Earlier this week, Nishikori beat Sam Querrey, Alexander Bublik and Cameron Norrie but he was especially happy with the way he performed against Harris. “It was one of the best tennis [matches] that I played all this week,” Nishikori said, per the ATP website.
“I think that I started very good – almost too good – until 4-0 and then he started playing better. Things got very tight in the second set; I had so many break points but I couldn’t convert. It was a little stressful, but I am very pleased with how I finished the last points”.
Nishikori escaped with a straight-set win
Nishikori made a perfect start to the match, having claimed back-to-back breaks to take a 4-0 lead. Harris saved two break points in the fifth game and then got one break back in the fifth game.
However, Harris fell short in his attempt to create a comeback in the first set as he lost the opener after losing his serve in the ninth game. In the second set, Nishikori failed to convert a match point in the 10th game but earned the lone break of the set two games later to book a straight-set win.
Nishikori will be fighting against American Mackenzie McDonald for a place in the Washington final. “I think I’m bringing a lot more experience this time. The last time I played him I was pretty 'idolised' by him, and I just didn’t really show up,” McDonald recalled. “He just took it to me. But I’m going for a fight tomorrow and we’ll see what happens”.