Nishikori triumphs

Kei Nishikori defended his Memphis title, beating Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 6-4, 7-6 (0) on Sunday. This was the fourth career title for the little-built Japanese while he made his first successful title defense, taking home the winner’s purse of $103,100 and 250 points on the ATP Tour.

Nishikori, who came in ranked 16th in the world, was given a wild-card entry into this tournament, which was a 500-point event a year ago when he won here.

He justified the decision by taking his year’s win-loss record to 11-2 and becoming the first back-to-back winner since Tommy Haas won in 2006 and 2007.

Halep wins Qatar Open

Meanwhile, Romania’s Simona Halep thumped Germany’s Angelique Kerber 6-2, 6-3 to win the Qatar Open title on Sunday. While this is Halep’s third title, this is by far her biggest as the draw included the likes of current Australian Open champion Li Na.

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