© Corinne Dubreuil – Moselle Open

Kei Nishikori beats Peter Gojowczyk during his Moselle Open debut on Wednesday.

Nishikori Wins On Metz Debut, Through To QF

Two-time former champion Simon to next face seventh seed Krajinovic

Top seed Kei Nishikori got his debut at the Moselle Open off to a winning start on Wednesday by knocking out defending champion Peter Gojowczyk of Germany 7-6(4), 6-3 in one hour and 34 minutes.

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In his first tournament since reaching the US Open semi-finals, Nishikori broke serve in the second and fourth games of the second set en route to his 29th match win of the season. Gojowczyk struck eight aces and won 79 per cent of his first-service points. Nishikori now plays fifth-seeded Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili or French wild card Ugo Humbert in the quarter-finals.

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Last year’s finalist Benoit Paire overcame wild card Quentin Halys 7-6(4), 6-2 in 80 minutes for a place in the second round, and Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics got the better of sixth seed Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-2 in 85 minutes.

Two-time champion Gilles Simon (2010, 2013) needed only 73 minutes to beat Czech Jiri Vesely 7-5, 6-3. Simon hit nine aces and won 90 per cent of his first-serve points (35/39). He will next meet Serbian Filip Krajinovic, the 2017 Rolex Paris Masters finalist. Fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet, the fourth seed, saved six of seven break points and breezed past French qualifier Constant Lestienne 6-4, 6-2.

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