Nishikori Experiences Few Problems At Wimbledon
Fritz defeats Berdych to continue winning ways on grass
Eighth seed Kei Nishikori experienced few problems on Tuesday as he worked his way into the second round at The Championships with a 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-4 victory over Brazilian qualifier Thiago Monteiro in two hours and 10 minutes.
Nishikori broke serve in the sixth game of the first and second sets, but Monteiro, in just the third grass-court match of his career, recovered and led 3/1 in the second-set tie-break. The Japanese won the next six points and completed the set with a forehand drop shot winner and broke in the final game of the match, when Monteiro hit his 23 error - a forehand.
Nishikori, who struck 36 winners and is now within two victories of 400 match wins, will next challenge Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie, who recorded a 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 win over Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan for his first victory at the All England Club. In 2018, Nishikori lost to Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
“I think it's going to be a battle,” said Norrie. “I'm happy that I've played a couple of big servers. Be nice to kind of get a lot of rhythm against him. I'm just going to go out there, make it as physical as I can. Nothing to lose really… I just want to go into it with the underdog mentality. I know I'm good enough to beat him. I know if I put my best level out there, I'm going to be trouble for anyone.
“He's definitely playing well. He likes the grass. When he's on, he's kind of tough to take down. I think it's going to be a really good match. Hopefully, I'm on a bigger court, I think I play well on the bigger kind of stadiums.”
Last week's Nature Valley International champion Taylor Fritz extended his winning run on grass with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 win over 2010 Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych. He next meets German Jan-Lennard Struff, the No. 33 seed, who also advanced in straight sets over Radu Albot 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.
Elsewhere, Australian No. 25 seed Alex de Minaur, who reached the third round last year, overcame Marco Cecchinato of Italy 6-0, 6-4, 7-6(5) in just over two hours and goes onto face American Steve Johnson, a 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 victor over Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain in one hour and 52 minutes.