Former world No. 4 Kei Nishikori admitted he felt he could have easily lost to Miomir Kecmanovic had the Serb made a positive start to the third set. Nishikori, ranked at No. 55 in the world, overcame Kecmanovic in three sets 6-4 6-7 (5) 6-2 to reach the Toronto Masters second round.
Kecmanovic blew an early second set break but he kept his focus as he realized his first set point in the tie-break to force a decider. After losing a tight second set, Nishikori responded well as he broke Kecmanovic in the opening game of the third set.
Nishikori then held on to his serve the rest of the way to clinch a three-set win. "I was feeling I could lose if he keeps playing like that. If I had dropped the first game of the third (I might have lost), so taking the game meant a lot," Nishikori said, per Seiadoumogera.
Nishikori dealing with a shoulder pain
"I've been feeling a bit of pain since last week so will see how well I recover. With that concerns about shoulder, I just tried to put first serve in. The surface is fast, so when I put my first serve in, like slice serve, I didn't get attacked so much.
If I had got more free points on my serve it would have been easier, but think I managed well," Nishikori said. Last week, Nishikori revealed he is once again feeling comfortable on the court. "Feel like I can play that long rallies without errors in forehand nor backhand for the first time since I came back from wrist injury," Nishikori said.
"Earlier this year I said I kind of got back on form little bit, but this time, ball fits comfortably in my hand, I can make shots without thinking anything and have subtle feelings, like, can recognize opponent's lob is just out even when I'm standing close to the net."