Nishikori Overcomes Slow Start To Win

Japan’s Kei Nishikori recovered from a slow start — as he did in his first-round win over Czech 2015 finalist Tomas Berdych — to get the better of Russian Daniil Medvedev at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters on Wednesday.

Nishikori, who is this week competing at the Monte-Carlo Country Club for the first time since 2012, bounced back from 1-3 in the opener to win 7-5, 6-2 in one hour and 41 minutes. He will now play Italian qualifier Andreas Seppi, who edged past lucky loser Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, in the third round.

“He was better than me initially, but I tried to stay calm and began to dominate from the baseline,” said Nishikori. “I played better in the second set. I will now rest and prepare for tomorrow, when I hope to play well.”

Medvedev gained the early advantage when Nishikori hit a backhand wide in the fourth game, but the former World No. 4 broke back immediately. From 4-5 in the first set, Nishikori won five straight games and thereafter continued to threaten Medvedev’s serve, causing the 22-year-old Sydney International titlist to rush.

In winning 14 of the last 19 points, including a third break of serve for 5-2, Nishikori recorded his sixth match win of the year.

Germany’s Jan-Struff Struff advanced to the third round for the second consecutive year to deny Fabio Fognini, the No. 13 seed from Italy, the 300th match win of his career. Struff won 6-4, 6-2 in 65 minutes for a clash against third-seeded compatriot Alexander Zverev on Thursday.

Elsewhere, Richard Gasquet moved to within one match win of becoming the first Frenchman to record 500 career victory by sweeping past 10th-seeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-2, 6-1 in 71 minutes. He now plays Mischa Zverev of Germany.

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