Nishikori Records Hard-Fought Win At Roland Garros In His First Major Match Since 2021

Nishikori Records Hard-Fought Win At Roland Garros In His First Major Match Since 2021

by Zachary Wimer

Kei Nishikori made a comeback to tennis at the 2024 Roland Garros and won his first Grand Slam match since the 2021 US Open.

At his peak, the Japanese player was a tremendous tennis player who stood in a Grand Slam final. He played in the US Open final many years ago but failed to win it as Marin Cilic proved better.

Rafael Nadal famously called him one of the most talented tennis players, but unfortunately, his body never quite matched his talent. He dealt with a lot of injuries, especially in the past 3-4 years missing a lot of time on the tennis court.

There were a few comeback attempts from Nishikori, but none of them materialized in a meaningful way. He had one earlier this year in Maimi where he played one match but lost it.

He didn't play after that but made a surprise return in Paris and looked sharp to start. He faced a player who is not a natural fit on clay, but Gabriel Diallo is very talented, and he showed some of that in this first-round match.

Nishikori took the opening set 7-5 behind some really clutch play. He outplayed his younger opponent in the most crucial rallies which won him the set.

Diallo made an effort to play really offensively but it backfired as he blasted 20 unforced errors. The second set went to Nishikori as well. It was pretty close but Nishikori triumphed in the tie-break to get a two-set lead.

The third set was a good one for Diallo, who outplayed Nishikori when it mattered the most as his game slowly started to stabilize. It was 6-3 for the Canadian, and he was able to use the momentum in the following set, winning it 6-1, as he crushed Nishikori behind just a tremendous 13-winner in 7 games performance.

The final set opened with an early break for Diallo but Nishikori turned it around. From there it was a competitive match with neither player really jumping ahead. At 6-5 in the fifth set, Nishikori broke to seal the win 7-5, 7-6(3), 3-6, 1-6, 7-5, in what was his first major match and win since 2021.


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