Top-ranked Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori gave credit to rising South-African star Lloyd Harris for the way he served during their Dubai quarterfinal clash. Harris, ranked at No. 81 in the world, edged out world No. 41 Nishikori in three sets 6-1 3-6 6-3 to reach his maiden Dubai semifinal.
Harris started the match with back-to-back breaks and a 5-0 lead, before serving out for the set in the seventh game. Nishikori responded in style as he started the second set with a 4-0 lead, before serving out for the set in the ninth game.
At 3-3 in the third set, Nishikori failed to convert a break point and he lost the game and got broken in the following game. "Wish I could have converted last couple of BPs, but his serve was too good. I had several BPs, but it was difficult to read his serve.
At the end of the match, he was playing really well," Nishikori said, per Seiadoumogera/Twitter. "For the 1st set, I don't know why it went that way. I was feeling good during warming up. If I had got broken earlier in the 2nd set, it would have been a quick loss for me, I'm happy that I was able to bring myself back from the 1st set."
Nishikori gaining confidence
Nishikori, who played only four tournaments last year, failed to win it all in Dubai but he was happy with his campaign in the United Arab Emirates. "At the end, he was playing more aggressively on important points to make winners, I regret some points in the final set.
Sometimes I still lose my consistency on some points, will try to fix things like how to play on important points not to get cold feet," Nishikori added.
"I'm getting much more confidence, now when I step in the court I'm not worried. Wish I could have gone deeper (in the tournament), but I'm gonna learn from the loss."