Kei Nishikori amazed by the city of Vienna

Tennis: Nishikori, 28, speaks highly of Vienna as he is having his debut appearance at the Erste Bank Open 500

by Dzevad Mesic
Kei Nishikori amazed by the city of Vienna

Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori didn't back down while describing what he thinks of Vienna. The 28-year-old is playing in Vienna for the first time in his career. Nishikori, seeded at No. 5 in the Vienna main draw, survived a tricky opener as he edged out rising American star Frances Tiafoe 7-6 (3) 5-7 6-2.

"Vienna is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I (have) walked around a lot on the streets because of that," Nishikori said of Vienna after his first-round win, per Lukas Zahrer. As not a single break point was seen during the first set -- the set went into a tie-break -- which Nishikori won after converting his first set point.

The Japanese got off to a great start to the second set as he broke the American in the opening game of the set. Tiafoe didn't have a single break point until the 10th game of the second set -- when Nishikori was serving for the match.

The American broke the fifth-seeded Japanese twice in a row to steal the second set and force a decider. However, Nishikori kept his focus as he broke Tiafoe twice -- in the third and seventh game -- to avoid any third-set drama and clinch the win.

Nishikori needs to make a deep run in Vienna as he is the 10th-ranked player on the Race to London list. However, it should be noted that third-ranked Juan Martin del Potro's season is likely over due to an injury -- which makes the Japanese the ninth player on the list.

Nishikori plays next the winner of the match between Russian Karen Khachanov and Austrian wildcard Dennis Novak. "I absolutely love the conditions here: Medium speed and a high bounce. The match wasn’t easy mentally, but I'm happy that I managed to play on a good level in the third set," Nishikori said of the Vienna conditions.

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Kei Nishikori