Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori insisted he is happy to see fellow compatriot Yoshihito Nishioka improving and lifting his game after losing to the 23-year-old in the Cincinnati Masters second round. Nishioka, ranked at No.
77 in the world, handed a straight-set defeat to 5th-ranked Nishikori 7-6 (2) 6-4 to clinch the biggest win and set up a round meeting against Sydney champion Alex de Minaur. After edging out Australian Jordan Thompson in the Cincinnati first round, Nishioka underlined how badly he wanted to beat the Australian and to fulfill his dream of playing against his good friend and 2014 US Open runner-up Nishikori.
Nishikori, who struggled with his breathing on the court against Nishioka, will enter the US Open without a match won on hard after Wimbledon as he also lost his opener at the Montreal Masters. "It was a tough match for me," Nishikori said, as revealed on the ATP website.
"I think he played good tennis. Served well... [It is] good to see he's getting stronger, growing up... [The] past two weeks, I'm having [a] tough [time] to breathe, some reason. I've got to go check."