Jiji-Japan NewsINDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Yoshihito Nishioka came up with one of the biggest victories of his career, rallying to knock off world No. 14 Tomas Berdych in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Monday in Indian Wells.
Nishioka, ranked 70th in the ATP rankings, easily dropped the first set before storming back to defeat the Czech Republic’s Berdych 1-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.
With the victory, Nishioka set up a meeting with No. 3 seed Stan Wawrinka in the fourth round of the Masters level event.
Meanwhile in the women’s tournament, Naomi Osaka was unable to replicate Nishioka’s feat in her third-round match against ninth-seeded Madison Keys of the United States, and fell 6-1, 6-4.
After losing the first set against the 13th-seeded Berdych, Nishioka fell behind 5-2 in the second set before pulling off a miracle comeback.
“It was a matter not of technique, but of mental toughness,” a smiling Nishioka said. “I won today because I didn’t get discouraged.”
Nishioka then turned serious when he added, “Honestly speaking, I didn’t think I would win, but I figured just to do whatever I could when I got the chance.”
He won the eighth game of the second set with a superb passing shot, and gained a break of serve in the 10th game by patiently winning a long rally.
He continually fought to return even the toughest shots, which led a mentally beaten Berdych to make more mistakes in the final set.
Nishioka had lost in the qualifying round of the tournament, but got into the main draw as a lucky loser to replace a late withdrawal.