Nishikori advances at Japan Open

Tokyo, September 30:

Japanese teenager Kei Nishikori beat American Robert Kendrick in three sets to advance to the second round of the Japan Open. Nishikori downed Kendrick 7-6 (3), 6-7 (5), 6-2 at Ariake Colosseum and will meet Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the second round.

Defending champion David Ferrer of Spain — the top-seeded player here — has a first-round bye along with second-seeded Andy Roddick of the US.

Croatia’s Roko Karanusic defeated Japanese qualifier Hiroki Kondo 6-2, 6-2 and will will meet No 9 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic. Wayne Odesnik of the US downed compatriot Kevin Kim 6-4, 6-3 to set up a clash with Serb Viktor Troicki, while Jesse Levine, also of the US, rallied for a 4-6, 6-1, 6-0 win over Thailand’s Danai Udomchoke. Levine will face Ferrer in the second round.

In the $175,000 women’s tournament, former world No 4 Kimiko Date’s first match on the WTA Tour in 12 years ended in a 6-3, 6-1 defeat at the hands of Israel’s Shahar Peer. The 38-year-old Japanese, who quit tennis in 1996 after reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals, returned to the game earlier this year.

Top seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark beat Argentine Gisela Dulko 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 while Wimbledon semi-finalist Zheng Jie of China was upset 6-1, 6-2 by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia. Fourth seed Maria Kirilenko was beaten 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 by Czech Klara Zakopalova, while France’s Camille Pin registered a 6-0, 7-5 win over Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro.