Qualifier downs Air K for Japan title

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Kei Nishikori reacts after making an error in the final of the Japan Open on Sunday.

ReutersTOKYO (Reuters) — Russian qualifier Daniil Medvedev stunned home favorite Kei Nishikori in Tokyo on Sunday, winning the final of the Japan Open 6-2, 6-4 in just over one hour.

Medvedev came out of the blocks fast and Nishikori, aiming for his third title at this event, could not cope with the big-hitting Russian, who broke his serve at the second time of asking.

After that it was a story of mistakes by world No. 12 Nishikori — 11 unforced errors in the first set — and consistent serving by Medvedev, who strolled to a 6-2 first set in just 25 minutes.

Nishikori corrected issues with his own serve in the second set but still could not have an impact on Medvedev’s service games, winning only one point on the Russian’s serve during the entire second set.

Medvedev bided his time and broke a tired Nishikori, whose final shot was another wild miss, to wrap up the victory and secure a third ATP title of the season. Nishikori has now lost eight ATP finals since his last victory, which came at the Memphis Open in February 2016.

Sevastova upsets Osaka


Meanwhile, Anastasija Sevastova defeated U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka 6-4, 6-4 in the China Open semifinals on Saturday and was set to take on Caroline Wozniacki in the title clash.

Sevastova, managing a stomach muscle problem and not quite at 100 percent, controlled the contest by winning three out of eight break point opportunities to knock out the error-prone Japanese player.

The Latvian said she had the problem in her win over Croatia’s Donna Vekic in the last 16.


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