Tennis: Kei Nishikori wins in his first ATP Tour match since 2021 after recovering from hip surgery

AP , Thursday 27 Jul 2023

Kei Nishikori won Tuesday in his first ATP Tour event in two years, beating Jordan Thompson 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) in the Atlanta Open.

 Kei Nishikori
Jordan Thompson of Australia hits a shot against Kei Nishikori during the first round of the ATP Atlanta Open at Atlantic Station on July 25, 2023. AFP

 

The 2014 U.S. Open runner-up from Japan hadn't played on tour since Indian Wells in October 2021. He then underwent hip surgery in January 2022 and was out of action for more than 17 months.

He returned to competition in June, winning a Challenger Tour event in Puerto Rico.

“I'm really happy the way I played today, because I mean a played a couple Challengers last couple of weeks, but today against Jordan it's a different level than playing in the Challengers," Nishikori said, "and first game I was like, ‘Oh, I have to play good today,’ and I did. I did quite well today.”

Nishikori, 33, has fallen to No. 439 in the ATP Tour rankings. He reached No. 4 in 2015, shortly after his semifinal victory over Novak Djokovic at the U.S. Open made him the first male Grand Slam singles finalist from Asia.

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