Nishikori claims title at Memphis
Youzhny overcomes Kavcic in Dubai
Japan’s Kei Nishikori wrapped up a straight sets win over Feliciano Lopez to win the Memphis International on Sunday.
Nishikori breezed to a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Lopez in a match that lasted just 67 minutes, not much longer than his outing on Saturday when he advanced to the final after Marinko Matosevic was forced to retire with a foot injury following the first set.
A well-rested Nishikori broke Lopez’s service twice in the opening set to move ahead 4-1 then took control in the second by opening with another break.
It was the third career title for Nishikori, who also won the Japan Open in Tokyo last October to become the first Japanese player to win on home soil.
Lopez never recovered from a rough start and missed a chance for his first win since 2010.
“He was very aggressive from the beginning,” Lopez said. “I have no regrets. I tried everything I could and he was just the better player today.”
World number four David Ferrer retained his Buenos Aires Open title with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 win over Stanislas Wawrinka here on Sunday.
The Spaniard took his tally of career titles to 20 after winning his third final in four years on the clay centre court at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club.
“It’s very hard to obtain two titles from one year to the next, tennis is smiling on me and I’m happy for that,” the 30-year-old said in a courtside interviewer.
“I’ve always preferred even numbers to odd ones, but I never thought I’d reach a figure like this on the ATP (tour).
“It’s been a great week for me and I must recognise that David is a great champion,” Swiss Wawrinka, ranked 17th, said after receiving the runners-up trophy.
It was a fifth consecutive Spanish win in Buenos Aires after victories for Tommy Robredo in 2009, Juan Carlos Ferrero in 2010 and Nicolas Almagro in 2011. David Nalbandian was Argentina's last winner in 2008.
Seventh seed Andreas Seppi turned around a 0-4 losing run against Paul-Henri Mathieu on Monday, beating the Frenchman 6-3, 7-5 in the first round of the Dubai Championships.
The Italian converted six of his 15 break point chances to win in 86 minutes.
“I just tried today to play a little bit more solid and keep the ball a little bit more in the centre, not to play so many angles,” said Seppi, who improved to a 7-4 match record on the season. “I think I managed well to win this match. It’s my first victory here, so good for me.”
Seppi goes on to play Czech Lukas Rosol, who beat Italian qualifier Matteo Viola 6-3, 7-5 in 77 minutes.
Meanwhile, eighth seed Mikhail Youzhny overcame a slow start to defeat Slovenia’s Blaz Kavcic 1-6, 6-1, 6-3 in 89 minutes. The Russian, who was a semifinalist three weeks ago at the PBZ Zagreb Indoors, broke serve five times to clinch his fifth win of the season. The 30-year-old Youzhny is playing in Dubai for the 12th time; he finished runner-up in 2007 and 2010.
“I’m happy because I didn’t play well, but I passed the first round,” said Youzhny. “I know the second round will be also tough. You can feel really confidenct and lose second round or you can feel really bad and play finals. I try not to think about this. I try to go on the court and just play.”
Next up for Youzhny will be Daniel Brands, who beat fellow qualifier Florent Serra 7-6 (9-7), 6-4 in 90 minutes.