Yoshihito Nishioka upset fourth-seeded Denis Shapovalov to win the inaugural Korea Open in Seoul. On Sunday, Nishioka handed Shapovalov a 6-4 7-6 (5) loss in the Seoul final. En route to winning Seoul, Nishioka also defeated Daniel Evans, Taro Daniel, Casper Ruud, and Aleksandar Kovacevic.
“This week was amazing for me," Nishioka said after winning the title, per the ATP website. "I played very well on the court, my mentality and attitude. I just focused on the play, which was very important I think.
A couple of matches it was very close, but I played very well, tried to figure out how to beat the opponent, and every match I fought. I needed to play like this in all the matches [so that] I had a chance to beat each of the players”.
Nishioka on his performance versus Shapovalov
Nishioka missed out on three break points in the fourth game but also saved three consecutive break points in the seventh game. In the 10th game - when Shapovalov was serving to stay in the first set - Nishioka earned the first break of the match to win the opener.
After winning the first set, Nishioka broke Shapovalov in the third game to take a 2-1 lead in the second set. Down by a set and a break, Shapovalov refused to quit and broke back Nishioka in the sixth game to eventually force a second-set tie-break.
In the tie-break, Nishioka opened an early 4-1 lead before realizing his second match point to seal a two-set win. “I think my returning was great today," Nishioka reflected. "I know he has a big serve and a big forehand, but I didn’t need to worry about that if it was too good.
I just focused on playing many balls and putting pressure on him, and if I had chances to just go for it. But first of all, just make a lot of balls, and hit a lot to his backhand, and try to move him”.