On paper, the second-round match between Kei Nishikori of Japan and Pablo Andujar of Spain at the Rogers Cup in Montréal seemed to be an unfair matchup. On the court on Wednesday, appearances did not deceive.
World no.4 and fourth seed Nishikori easily disposed of world no.48 Andujar in two sets (6-3, 6-3).
After bowing out in the second round at Wimbledon with a calf injury, Nishikori had a triumphant return to the game when he claimed the title in Washington last week. And it took no time for him to get back on track.
“I feel very good,” said Nishikori, who was icing his left knee just before the post-match press conference. “My game is getting better and better. I didn’t start the best way. There was a lot of wind on the court and we got off to a late start.”
In the very first game, Nishikori—who won the toss and chose to receive—broke his opponent on a double fault.
In the fourth game, Andujar bounced back to 2-2 but only postponed the inevitable. Clearly the aggressor, Nishikori dictated the points. He broke the Spaniard in the seventh and ninth games of the first set.
History repeated itself in the second set when Nishikori broke Andujar as soon as he had the opportunity in the second game. That’s all that he needed to do to clinch his 50th Masters win and 44th victory this year.
“After a few games, I started playing better,” explained Nishikori. “I was also more focused. I’m satisfied with my game.”
Andujar and Nishikori had already met once this season in Barcelona. There too, Nishikori came out on top in two sets (6-4, 6-4).
Today, Nishikori hit three aces, one double fault and 66% of his first serves in. He also managed to capitalize on four of the six break chances he was given.
In the third round, Nishikori will face David Goffin (13) of Belgium.