Monte Carlo (Principality of Monaco) (AFP) – Japan’s Kei Nishikori continued his comeback from injury with an impressive 7-5, 6-2 win over Russian Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday to reach the Monte Carlo Masters third round.
The former world number four, who has struggled over the last year with a right wrist injury, followed up his first-round victory against Tomas Berdych with a solid display on centre court.
Nishikori will face either Guillermo Garcia-Lopez or Andreas Seppi for a place in the quarter-finals.
“The first set was a real battle, he was playing a little better than me I think at the beginning,” said Nishikori, who is playing the tournament for the first time in six years.
“I just tried to stay calm and not do anything too crazy and stay calm at the baseline.”
World number 49 Medvedev started strongly and broke for a 3-1 lead in the first set, but that was the cue for Nishikori to up his game and he broke straight back.
Another break in game 11 gave the 28-year-old the opening set, and despite some late jitters on serve, he wrapped up victory after a one-sided second set on his third match point.
Nishikori, now ranked 36, missed the end of last season through injury and only returned to action in a second-tier Challenger event in January.