Kei Nishikori plays like in the old days

01 March 2021

Kei Nishikori has warm memories of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. The Japanese reached the semfinals in 2019 at his only performance in Rotterdam Ahoy. Nishikori (31) has picked up where he left in Rotterdam, as he defeated Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime in the opening round: 7-6 (4), 6-1.

It was one of the most appealing matches from the first round of the Netherlands' largest ATP tournament: the experience of Kei Nishikori (the former number four in the world) against super talent Felix Auger-Aliassime (20), who reached the final in Rotterdam last year, where he lost to Gaël Monfils. There was hardly any difference in strength in the first set, so a tiebreaker was neede for the decision. After an injury treatment for Auger-Aliassime at a 1-0 score in the second set, the youngster's resistance was broken.

"The first set was difficult," said Kei Nishikori, who plays against Alex de Minaur in the second round, who defeated John Millman in an Australian get-together. "He had more chances in the first set, but I played a good tiebreak. I am happy to be back in Rotterdam. This is one of the most beautiful indoor tournaments in the world. ”

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Kei Nishikori plays like in the old days