Milos Raonic was victorous in two sets, while Kei Nishikori turned around the match to reach second round of Japanese Open.
Sixth-seeded Raonic was never really under pressure against Czech Radek Stepanek. It was a positive start for the six foot five tall Canadian as he broke the Czech veteran in the opening game of the match. He held his serves confidently enough to wrap up the first set in forty-four minutes. The only time one of the players got in trouble in the second set was in the fifth game when 2012 Chennai and San Jose champion Raonic took advantage of the second break ball to steal Stepanek’s service game. Apart from one double fault the Canadian’s serving was on a high level throughout the second set too, enabling him to convert the first match ball for a 6-4, 6-4 triumph. Raonic hit 10 aces as compared to Stepanek’s 3 in one hour and twenty-five minutes of first round tennis. He had beaten his next opponent Viktor Troicki a couple of months ago at Rogers Cup in Toronto.
An all-Japanese first round clash in Tokyo entertained the home crowd for three sets and two hours and thirty-one minutes. In a thriller of the opener Go Soeda broke back twice before clinching a decisive third break to go a set up. The players produced fourteen break balls between them in the opening set. In the second set eighth seed Nishikori got himself a two break cushion by 4-1. Soeda pulled one back, but lost another serve straight away, allowing his compatriot to level the score. Soeda was trailing by a break for the most of the decider until he gave away the second one in the last game of the match. Nishikori is through with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 and is meeting Tommy Robredo in the second round. This is going to be their first head-to-head encounter.