Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori didn't play as aggressive as he would have like but he have credit to German Alexander Zverev for taking risks toward the end of the match. Nishikori, a former world No. 4, suffered a three-set loss to Zverev in the Rome Masters round-of-16 as the German won 4-6 6-3 6-4.
"Zverev played at much faster pace in Madrid while this time we had many rallies because the court was heavier. Sometimes I was not able to play aggressively due to heavy court, and especially in the end of the match he took a bit more risk & that worked pretty well for him," Nishikori said, per Seiadoumogera/Twitter.
Nishikori competed well against Zverev
Zverev saved two break points in the opening game, before earning the first break of the match in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. However, his lead was short-lived as Nishikori broke back in the third game and served out the following game to level the set at two games apiece.
Nishikori then collected his second break in the seventh game, before serving out for the opener in the 10th game. Nishikori was up by a break in the second set but Zverev responded with breaking the Japanese in the sixth and eighth game to take a 5-3 lead.
Zverev then realized his fifth set point in the ninth game to force a decider. Nishikori was also up by a break in the third set as he led 4-1 before Zverev claimed back-to-back breaks to win five games in a row and complete a comeback win.
"I had good feelings, think I couldn't stay focused, that caused the defeat. Maybe not played at my best, but better than last week.
I have not won many matches, so in terms of my confidence it's hard to set a goal in RG, just would like to win as many matches as possible," Nishikori added.