Home favourites Osaka and Nishikori advance to second round with ease
The Tokyo 2020 home favourites Naomi Osaka and Kei Nishikori got past their opening round opponents without sweating out much and booked their second round meetings against Swiss Viktorija Golubic and America’s Marcos Giron, respectively.
Nishikori wrapped up his first match at home Games in one hour and 15 minutes as he knocked out Andrey Rublev of ROC in straight sets 63 64, whilst Osaka had another Asian as her opponent in Saisai Zheng of China.
Osaka, who is seeded number two in Women’s singles event, cruised past Zheng 61 64 in her first match at Olympics in one hour and 27 minutes.
Carrying the Home Nation’s hopes with no spectators allowed in the first ever Summer Olympic Games being held during a global pandemic and at the same time, having to endure the sultry heat at the Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo, Japan, both Osaka and Nishikori did well to conserve their energies for future rounds.
Only two days ago, Osaka became the first Tennis player in Olympic Games’ history to have lit the Olympic Cauldron on the Opening Ceremony day.
“Undoubtedly the greatest athletic achievement and honor I will ever have in my life. I have no words to describe the feelings I have right now but I do know I am currently filled with gratefulness and thankfulness. Love you guys thank you,” she had tweeted after becoming part of Olympics history on her home debut.
Among other results from Asian players, Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan (Men’s singles) and Qiang Wang of China (Women’s singles) won their first round matches today while Sumit Nagal of India defeated Uzbek Denis Istomin yesterday and became the second Indian player to win a Men’s singles tennis match at Olympics since Leander Paes’ Bronze medal win in 1996 at Atlanta Games.
Nagal is up against Daniil Medvedev of ROC in his second round match tomorrow.
In the Women’s singles discipline, there will be as many as four Asians vying for a spot in the pre-quarterfinals – Naomi Osaka (JPN), Qiang Wang (CHN), Misaki Doi (JPN) and Elena Rybakina (KAZ).
Japan’s Kei Nishikori and Ben McLachlan will pair up to take on Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski of Great Britain in Men’s doubles second round.
Results of Asian Players on Day two of Tennis events at Tokyo 2020:
Men’s Singles – First Round:
Alexander Zverev (GER) def. Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE) 61 63
Kei Nishikori (JPN) def. Andrey Rublev (ROC) 63 64
Karen Khachanov (ROC) def. Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) 36 61 62
Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) def. Federico Coria (ARG) 76 75
Frances Tiafoe (USA) def. Soonwoo Kwon (KOR) 63 62
Men’s Doubles – First Round:
Cilic/Dodig (CRO) def. Daniel/Nishioka (JPN) 62 64
Women’s Singles – First Round:
Naomi Osaka (JPN) def. Saisai Zheng (CHN) 61 64
Qiang Wang (CHN) def. Veronica Cepede Royg (PAR) 64 63
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) def. Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 75 32 (RET.)
Nadia Podoroska (ARG) def. Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 76 13 (RET.)
Women’s Doubles – First Round:
Bencic/Golubic (SUI) def. Aoyama/Shibahara (JPN) 64 67 (10-5)
Krejcikova/Siniakova (CZE) def. Hsieh/Hsu (TPE) 62 61
Pliskova/Vondrousova (CZE) def. Duan/Zheng (CHN) 62 61