Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori underlined that it wasn't easy against Felix Auger-Aliassime though he claimed a straight-set win over the rising Canadian star. Nishikori, a former world No. 7, delivered his best performance of the season as on Monday he stunned No.
7 seed Auger-Aliassime 7-6 (4) 6-1 in the Rotterdam first round. As no breaks of serve were seen in the first set -- the set went into a tie-break -- in which the two players were tied at 4-4 before Nishikori won three points in a row to claim a tight opener.
After losing a tight first set, Auger-Aliassime called a medical timeout early in the second set but it didn't help as Nishikori earned two breaks to wrap up a straight-set win. "It was a very tight game, he was serving great especially in the first set and he won a lot on first serve," Nishikori said, per the ATP website.
"I played solidly in the tie-break and served well on the last couple of points. It was easier in the second set, with his injury, but I was more comfortable and striking the ball better."
Nishikori prevents Auger-Aliassime from back-to-back deep Rotterdam runs
Last year, Auger-Aliassime made the Rotterdam final before losing to Frenchman Gael Monfils.
"It’s good vibes here for me. I had great success last year, I played great tennis. I loved the atmosphere of the fans here last year. Unluckily this year it’s different circumstances, but it’s still good to come back to a place where you’ve played well,” Auger-Alliasime said prior to his Rotterdam first round clash against Nishikori.
“As a player that’s always a good feeling and then you have your favourite spots on the Tour and Rotterdam is one of mine”. Auger-Aliassime, who ended runner-up at the Murray River Open in Melbourne, was hoping to potentially lift his maiden ATP title this week in Rotterdam.