Madrid Masters: Kei Nishikori downs Karen Khachenov; Andrey Rublev battles back

Kei Nishikori and Andrey Rublev both came back from a set down to secure their place in the next round of the Madrid Masters.

Nishikori beat Russian Karen Khachenov 6-7, 6-2, 6-2 in the opening round of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old Japanese saved a set point to force a first set tiebreak – which he lost after having two set points from 6-4. But he recovered strongly – breaking the world number 23 twice in both the second and third sets to get the victory.

“I was feeling much better after first set. I think I was a little bit tight and a little too conservative maybe,” said Nishikori in a post-match interview.

“I think I could [have been] a little more aggressive. So I tried to step in a little bit more than the first set. Then everything started working well.”

Nishikori will now face Alexander Zverev in the next round.

Meanwhile Rublev beat American Tommy Paul 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 in an intense battle, with momentum swinging back and forward over the net.

Rublev lost a 4-2 lead in the first set with Paul forcing a tie-break in which the American fought back by winning six points in a row.

Paul seemed to be fatigued in the second set allowing Rublev to take advantage, but the third set was much more even with Rublev saving a break point before going on to break his opponents serve the very next game.

The result puts Rublev one ahead of Stefanos Tsitsipas for this year’s most ATP wins in 2021 with 27.

Rublev’s next opponent is still undecided as John Isner awaits the winner of Roberto Bautista Agut and Marco Cecchinato.

Please follow Tennisbuzz on Twitter and Instagram, and you can like us on Facebook by clicking here.

For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.

Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?

Other News

Novak Djokovic on Rafael Nadal final: ‘It’s great to play my biggest rival of all time again’

Novak Djokovic will face his 'biggest rival of all time' Rafael Nadal in the final of the Rome Masters on Sunday in what will...

Rafael Nadal on Novak Djokovic Rome final: ‘I will need to play my best tennis’

Rafael Nadal once again proved his clay court mastery as he eased past Reilly Opelka and into the final of the Rome Masters.Many were...

‘I’ll give it my all!’ – Novak Djokovic says he will be ready for Rafael Nadal showdown

Novak Djokovic has pledged to 'give his all' when he comes up against old foe Rafael Nadal in the final of the Rome Masters...

Andy Murray bad luck continues as he misses French Open due to continued ‘discomfort’

Andy Murray will skip the French Open and warm-up tournaments, and go straight to prepare for grass court season instead, it has been reported.Murray...

‘Serena has little chance at Roland Garros, but a very good chance at Wimbledon,’ says Navratilova

Serena Williams has 'very little chance' of winning Roland Garros and she knows it, says Martina Navratilova, but Wimbledon will be different.Williams suffered an...

Andy Murray rejects Geneva wild card due to ‘injury,’ claims tournament chiefs

Andy Murray appears to have suffered a fresh injury blow with Geneva chiefs claiming he rejected a wild card due to injury.Murray had planned...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Don't miss a thing from Tennisbuzz - get all the latest tennis news, exclusive content and competitions, and tennis trivia teasers all delivered to your inbox.

Related articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here